Woodstock medal shines light on ‘Klondike Joe’ Boyle

Woodstock, Ontario’s most intriguing citizen, is the subject of the Woodstock Coin Club’s most recent medal.

Dated 2023, the medal honours Joseph Whiteside Boyle. “Pierre Berton said that if Joe Boyle had been American, there would be movies and books and all kinds of legends about him,”  Angus Sutherland writes in the 2024 January-February issue of the Ontario Numismatic Association’s (ONA)  newsletter – The Ontario Numismatist. “Because he was a Canadian, few knew of him outside of Woodstock, Ontario, and the Yukon.”

The reverse features an image taken from a photo of the Dawson City Nuggets hockey team.

Better known as “Klondike Joe” Boyle, he proved to be very industrialist during the Yukon gold rush, including modernizing the main street of Dawson City. An avid hockey fan, he formed the Dawson City Nuggets, which became a force to reckon with. According to Sutherland’s fascinating article, Boyle assembled and financed a machine-gun company of 50 men from the Yukon for the Canadian government in the First World War. He made significant contributions to Canada’s war efforts before moving to Romania, where he was later hailed as the “Saviour of Romania” by Queen Maria, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. More intriguing details are available in Sutherland’s article.

As for the medal, the obverse features a bust of Joe Boyle, the dates 1867-1923, the words WOODSTOCK COIN CLUB 2023, and the initials of coin designer Angus Sutherland. The reverse features an image taken from a photo of the Dawson City Nuggets hockey team with Boyle front and centre. At the top are the words, DAWSON CITY NUGGETS, and below, “STANLEY CUP CHALLENGE 1905”. The 27.8 mm medals are plated in bright copper, antique copper, bright nickel, and antique silver. They sell for $25 each or $90 for a set of four. To order, email Sutherland at ajmacbagpipe@yahoo.com

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