Bronze medal commissioned by the Numismatic Association of Victoria, inscribed H.Park. Designed by Michael Meszaros in 1976 and minted by the Paris Mint.

The Paul Simon Memorial Award was established in 1977 by Mrs Jessica Simon of Ballarat in memory of her late husband, a keen numismatist. The award was established to recognise outstanding contributions to numismatic societies and clubs. Designed by renowned medallist Michael Meszaros, the reverse of the medal shows a hand holding an Israeli coin with a menorah and Hebrew inscription, illustrating Paul Simon's love of his people and his religion. Nominations for the award were invited from societies and clubs throughout Australia each year, and were collated by State representatives on an Award Committee. Winners were announced in the Australian Coin Review each year.

Paul Simon was a leading authority on gold coinage of the world and a major collector. He was a former President of the Numismatics Association of Victoria and a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society of London. An amateur geologist and gold fossiker, Simon was also director of the former Stone's Style Drapery Store in Ballarat, was President of the Bridge Street Traders' Association in Ballarat and operated other businesses in Melbourne and Horsham. He was also an active member of the Ballarat Synagogue. Simon hoped to see a gold museum established in Ballarat, and in 1976 the Gold Museum was opened at Sovereign Hill. His collection was donated to the Museum by his widow Jessica, and a wing of the Museum was named the Jessica and Paul Simon Gold Pavilion.

This medal was inscribed in error. Ray Jewell, Foundation President of the Numismatic Association of Australia, had been talking to Hayden Park on the telephone just before he made the arrangements to have the medal inscribed. He accidentally gave Park's name instead of the name of the correct recipient, Haydn Powell. The incorrectly engraved medal was given to Museum Victoria, and another medal inscribed. The new medal was presented to Powell in late 1986 or early 1987.

Physical Description

A bronze medal (67 mm diameter) featuring a profile head of Paul Simon by Michael Meszaros and a hand holding a large Israeli coin

Obverse Description

Head of Paul Simon. Beneath head, MICHAEL MESZAROS 1976 / [monogram] Around: PAUL SIMON MEMORIAL AWARD

Reverse Description

Hand holding medal. On the image of a medal is a menorah (seven -branched candlestick] with Hebrew letters beneath and laurel wreath either side. On left of medal image is inscribed ISRAEL. On the right are Hebrew letters. On right side MICHAEL MESZAROS 1976 [monogram]

Edge Description

Engraved H. PARK - WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1986 ~ NO. 16


For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.

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