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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 36, September 3, 2006, Article 29

ST. AUGUSTINE CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY WITH MEDAL REPLICA

According to a report in the August 28 St. Augustine (Florida)
Record, "A replica of a rare bronze medallion from the mid-1600s
that pictures St. Augustine of Hippo will be presented to city and
church officials today.

Its owner, John Walter Fraser, whose family owns the Fountain of
Youth attraction on Magnolia Avenue, said he'd commissioned silver
replicas of the medal and will present them to Bishop Victor Galeone,
St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner and other dignitaries during the
Augustinian Day celebration at the Bishop Baker Center.

"I've never seen anything like this before," Fraser said of the
medallion.

The front displays a relief of St. Augustine, the city's patron saint,
in close profile holding a bishop's crook and wearing a miter and robes.
On the reverse side stands a full figure of Saint Mary wearing an
embroidered dress, the words "S. Maria" on the left and -- mysteriously
-- the word "Cell" on the right.

Fraser said the object came from an archaeological dig in 1998
overseen by City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt at 5 St. George St.,
a property owned by Fraser's father."

"One of the artifacts was the medallion. Initially, the medal had a
thick crust from years of immersion in what was probably a trash pit.

Metz telephoned John Powell, a former university conservator now
living in St. Augustine, who worked on the restoration in his garage
lab."

"I placed it in the mid-17th century by its style and manufacture,"
he said Friday. "It was prior to 1675 but after 1625. There was about
50 years when this style of medallion was in fashion." His determination
was based on how the medallion was made rather than what was pictured
on it, he said."

"St. Augustine of Hippo became the patron saint of the city named after
him because Don Pedro Menendez spotted land on Aug. 28, 1565, the feast
day of St. Augustine. He came ashore on Sept. 8, 1565 and named the
area for St. Augustine."

To read the complete article (and view an image of the "medallion", see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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