Photos of a Historical Medal Presented to Officer Derek Hodgson for His Role in Security at the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee in Dar es Salaam in August 1946

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

His Highness the Aga Khan speaks into a “Mike” at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Dar-es-Salaam. His weight in diamonds was the equivalent of over 640,000 Britsh pounds Photo: David Carnegie for the National Geographic, March 1947.
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah His Highness the Aga Khan speaks into a “Mike” at his Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Dar es Salaam on August 10, 1946. Photo: David Carnegie for the National Geographic, March 1947.

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.

Fezzed Tanganyika Police Keep Order and Guard a fabulous Diamond treasure at the Jubilee celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan in Dar-es-Salaam on August 10, 1946. National Geographic Magazine, March 1947.
Fezzed Tanganyika Police Keep Order and Guard a fabulous Diamond treasure at the Jubilee celebration of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah His Highness the Aga Khan in Dar es Salaam on August 10, 1946. Photo: David Carnegie for the National Geographic, March 1947.

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

Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Gold Medal
The obverse of the commemorative gold medal that was presented to Colonial Officer Derek William Hodgson for his involvement in the security arrangements during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan held in Dar es Salaam during August 1946. See photo with complete ribbon, below. Photo: © Patrick Hodgson.
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Gold Coin
The reverse of the commemorative gold medal that was presented to Colonial Officer Derek William Hodgson for his involvement in the security arrangements during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan held in Dar es Salaam during August 1946. See photo with complete ribbon, below. Photo: © Patrick Hodgson.

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

Colonial officer Derek William Hodgson
Colonial officer Derek William Hodgson was involved in the security arrangements during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations held in Dar es Salaam in August 1946. He was then presented with a commemorative gold coin for his services. See obverse and reverse photos of the gold medal on this page. Photo: © Patrick Hodgson.
Derek William Hodgson Colonial Police Officer Tanganyika, Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Colonial officer Derek William Hodgson (left), recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Gold Medal, with his father William Hodgson. Both of them are in the uniform of the Colonial Police, taken in 1946 in Tanganyika. Photo: © Patrick 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

Gold Coin Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee 1946 Dar es Salaam Barakah
The obverse of the commemorative gold medal, complete with ribbon in the colours of the Ismaili Imamat, that was presented to Colonial Officer Derek William Hodgson for his involvement in the security arrangements during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan held in Dar es Salaam during August 1946. Photo: © Patrick Hodgson.
Commemorative gold coin Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee in Dar es Salaam in 1946 Barakah
The reverse of the commemorative gold medal, complete with ribbon in the colours of the Ismaili Imamat, that was presented to Colonial Officer Derek William Hodgson for his involvement in the security arrangements during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan held in Dar es Salaam during August 1946. Photo: © Patrick Hodgson.

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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Barakah, is a special project by Simerg  and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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3 comments

  1. ✌️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

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 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

    Liked by 1 person

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