Golden Rewards—To the Winner Goes the Gold

We realize early in life that we’re striving for gold. It might be the gold medal for the soccer championship or the gold star our teacher puts on our homework. In almost every aspect of our culture, from science to art, gold is used to reward the best—the winners.
 
Gold in Rocks
Sir William Logan was the first director of The Geological Survey of Canada, which was created in 1841 to explore Canada’s wilderness. His mandate was to record the riches the land might have to offer. Logan didn’t think much time should be wasted looking for gold. His interest was in resources that he thought would be useful in everyday life, like slate for fireproof roofs and flagstones for roads.

Logan is renowned as Canada’s first great scientist; his journals record his travels throughout Canada. Logan gathered rock samples, created maps and wore out many pairs of boots as he hiked through the wilderness.

He received many awards. Logan’s exhibit of Canadian minerals at the 1855 Exhibition in Paris, along with a geological map and booklet, won him first prize—and gold.

Gold in sports too!
Sidney Crosby has been collecting gold medals since he was a boy in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, shooting hockey pucks against his family’s clothes dryer. His 2010 Olympic gold medal must have seemed especially golden, since Sidney was the one to score the winning goal in overtime.

The Coveted Statuette—Gold at the Oscars

We watch the Oscars each year, cheering for our favorites and guessing who will win the coveted gold statuettes. We cheer for the stars, but one winner of two Oscars would be recognized by few. Harold Russell is little known to most Nova Scotians, although he was born there in 1914. Russell is the only person to win two Oscars for one role—as Best Supporting Actor and also as an Inspiration for Returning Veterans—in the movie “The Best Years of Our Lives.” His hands had been blown off in WWII and he had hooks in their place. Russell was practical about those gold statuettes. He kept one and sold the other for $62,000 to help pay for his wife’s medical expenses.

Music’s Golden Notes—Gold Records

Anne Murray started singing early, in Springhill, Nova Scotia, where she grew up among five brothers. She claims singing was her attempt to be better at something than her siblings. Her single, “Snowbird,” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in November ,1970. It was the first time that a solo Canadian female was awarded an American gold record. It was written by PEI’s Gene McLellan, the second song he ever composed, which he said he wrote in 25 minutes.
  
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dian Day, Susan Sellers, Rita Wilson
1855 - 2010
Nova Scotia, CANADA
© 2013, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans