This historic medallion was given out to customers by the State Savings Bank of Victoria, as a commemorative medallion for the bicentenary of the landing on Australian soil by Captain James Cook and the crew of HM Bark Endeavour in 1770.
The medallion has been kept in relatively good condition and the gilt bronze has a few marks upon it. The pictures say it best.
Their were some 40 different medallions released around the country for the occasion and this was one of them.
The State Savings Bank was the first to officially release a medallion. In total 50 gold medallions, 5,000 silver and 100,000 bronze were struck by the bank.
The bank as a part of the celebrations had a display in its foyer to commemorate the bicentenary which explored the life and times of Captain Cook. It included a 3 foot model of the Endeavour ship, maritime equipment of the eighteenth century as well as charts and a copy of Richard Linton’s painting, “Endeavour”.
1970 Bi-centenary Captain James Cook
Dimension: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 18.36 g (Weight)
Metal: Gilt Bronze
Maker: The dies were hand-cut by Stokes’ senior die-sinker, Keith Gray.
Artist: Stanley Hammond
Issuer: The State Savings Bank of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Obverse: Bust of James Cook facing right, around above, . 1770 . AUSTRALIA . 1970 . below: CAPTAIN JAMES COOK BICENTENARY and the mint name, STOKES, in small letters under the bust. The bust of Cook is based on a plaque by Josiah Wedgewood
Reverse: The Endeavour under full sail to front right and below H.M. BARK ENDEAVOUR; around above, THE STATE SAVINGS BANK OF VICTORIA. In exergue a small cannon, with stack of cannon-balls and keg of powder.
This bronze medal celebrates the first exploratory mission by the Royal Society with Captain James Cook the famous British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy as the expedition leader.
The expedition was made in a ship that had originally started life as a merchant collier named the , Earl of Pembroke, which was launched in North Yorkshire in June of 1764. The vessel was of a flat-bottomed design which made sailing in shallower waters easier and also allowed the ship to be put ashore, beached, for the loading and unloading of goods. It also meant that she could be beached for the purpose of making repairs and then floated off again in the next high tide.
The vessel was seen to be the perfect choice for an expedition and she was purchased by the Royal Navy for £2,840. 10s. 11d and was assigned to the Society’s expedition. It was immediately refitted with additional rooms below deck and the hull was strengthened. The refit cost almost as much as the purchase price with the cost coming to £2,294.
Cook took command of the Earl of Pembroke in May of 1768 and the newly refitted vessel was commissioned as His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour.
It set out from Plymouth in on 26 August 1768 with stores and livestock onboard to provide supply for 18 months to a crew of 94 people.
Having sailed via Africa to South America, to Tahiti and New Zealand her crew sighted the east coast of Australia on 19 April 1770. Cook landed one of the ship’s long boats on the southern shore of what is now known as Botany Bay, New South Wales.