History of Society Medal

History of Society Medal

At the Council Meeting of the International Medical Society of Paraplegia (now International Spinal Cord Society) held on 15th March 1975, a letter from Mr J Cosbie Ross was discussed together with a supporting letter from Sir Ludwig Guttmann, suggesting that an Annual Medal be presented to a member of the Society who had given outstanding services in the field of Paraplegia. The Council agreed this proposal and put the suggestion to the Annual General Meeting.

At the Annual General Meeting on 25th July 1975 the President asked Mr Cosbie Ross to express the views of the Council on the proposal of an Annual Medal. Mr Cosbie Ross had felt for some time that the Society should follow the example of other scientific bodies and give an Annual Medal for outstanding services, eg: The St Peter’s Medal given by the British Association of Urological Surgeons. If the annual Scientific Meeting agreed to such a presentation then the Annual Medal should be presented at the Annual Dinner. It was suggested that for the first five years the recipient should be chosen by the Council , thereafter a Select Committee should be empowered to select the recipient. It was also suggested that the Council should be empowered to give more than one medal in the year or to withhold a medal if no suitable recipient was nominated.

The above suggestions were approved by the Annual General Meeting and the first medal would be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in Toronto, Canada in 1976.

At the Council Meeting on 23rd July 1975 it was agreed that there should be an inscription on the medal, on one side “Presented to ….” and the year and on the other side should be the name of the Society without laurel leaves and that the Medal should be silver. Nominations for the first Annual Medal should be made before the next Council Meeting in March 1976.

At the Council Meeting on 6th March 1976 the President stated that there had been general agreement between all members about the first recipient of the Annual Medal without mentioning any names. The Council agreed that the first recipient should be Sir Ludwig Guttmann and the second one, Dr Ernest Bors. In view of the recommendation made at the last Council Meeting in Toronto, it was agreed that two Annual Medals should be presented in Toronto, one to Sir Ludwig Guttmann and the other to Dr Ernest Bors.

At the Council Meeting on 3rd August 1976 the Council were shown the prepared Annual Medals and it was proposed that they be presented at the beginning of the banquet on Thursday 5th August 1976 before 8.30 pm.

The 1st Annual Medals were presented to Sir Ludwig Guttmann and Dr Ernest Bors at the banquet held at The Inn on the Park, Toronto on the evening of 5th August 1976. Dr E Bors was unable to be present and the Medal was accepted on his behalf by Dr David Cheshire.

The Annual Medal is now known as the “Society Medal” and is awarded each year to someone “who has made an outstanding contribution to the prevention or treatment of spinal cord injury or to research related to spinal cord injury.

Originally the recipient of the Annual Medal was confined to members of the Society but was eventually widened to include non-members.