By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, Barakah, Simerg and Simergphotos)
Over the past few years, several non-Ismaili readers have come forward and presented images of unique Ismaili objects and photographs for publication at Barakah and its sister websites Simerg and Simergphotos.
This past week Mr. Patrick Hodgson submitted an interesting response to The Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee: Glimpses from “an incomparable occasion“, which was published on May 6, 2017. He said in his feedback:
“Fascinating stuff. My father was awarded one of the gold medals for his role of the security at the Dar es Salaam Diamond Jubilee. The medal, which I inherited from him, is round, not four-sided.”
I was intrigued by Patrick’s comment and requested images of the 75 year old gold medal that had been presented to his father, Derek William Hodgson. He immediately submitted the obverse and reverse images, with an explanation of how his father may have become involved with Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s Diamond Jubilee held in Dar es Salaam in August 1946.
The Dar es Salaam Diamond Jubilee of our beloved 48th Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957) was held on August 10, 1946. This was the second and final of the Jubilee celebrations, the first one having taken place exactly six months earlier on March 10, 1946, in Mumbai (then Bombay). The gold coin that was circulated in pre-independent India/Pakistan was 4-sided, as illustrated in our earlier piece on the Diamond Jubilee.
Patrick’s dad, Derek William was in the Colonial Service and initially went to Tanganyika as a Health Inspector in 1944. He transferred to the Colonial Police at some point shortly after that, and ultimately became a Superintendent in Uganda. The family believes that it was in his role as a Superintendent that he may have become involved in the security arrangements for the Diamond Jubilee.
OBVERSE AND REVERSE OF DIAMOND JUBILEE MEDAL
Patrick’s older sister found a photo of their father pictured with their grandfather in the uniform of the Colonial Police, taken in 1946 in Tanganyika. The photo of Derek William Hodgson, with a ceremonial sword, represents his early duties there as a colonial police officer.
COLONIAL POLICE OFFICER DEREK WILLIAM HODGSON
It appears that during the Jubilees, individuals such as Patrick’s father were presented with special commemorative medals in recognition of their services. While the medals produced for Africa were round in shape, one that was circulated in South Asia that we are aware of had four sides. It is also possible that many other medals were officially produced by the Ismaili Diamond Jubilee celebration committees and they came in different shapes, sizes and metals.
DIAMOND JUBILEE GOLD MEDAL WITH RIBBON BEARING COLOURS OF THE ISMAILI IMAMAT
Mr. Patrick Hodgson’s example of caring for a 75 year old medal that was first presented and kept by his late father should encourage members of the Ismaili community to take interest in their history, and to seek to preserve historical objects such as medals, stamps, coins as well as literary books and community magazines such as The Ismaili. If you have khajanas (treasures) such as this, historical photographs of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, please write in full confidence to Malik Merchant at Simerg@aol.com. We will be delighted to publish the images in Barakah, which is dedicated to His Highness, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat.
Date posted: February 26, 2021.
Last updated: March 1, 2021 (update to caption).
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✌️I was at this historic event with my family having been driven from Nairobi in our solid Dodge car by my eldest brother Peermohamed Kurji! I was 6 yr old and remember the Jubilee vividly etched NOW! My name is Zul Kurji-Jivani
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Recently I gave a talk about Ismailis in East Africa and I looked at many sites read many books but now thank you for showing me this site so as to enrich my passion. All these things otherwise will be lost to our rich history
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Wow , precious memory and a good history lesson for all of us on the medal.
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