The Australian Numismatic Society

A Paper given at the June 2020 online Conference

OFFICIAL BADGES FOR THE 1956 MELBOURNE OLYMPICS     By George Snelgrove

Serious collectors of enamelled badges generally favour the older style of manufacture where the enamel was placed onto the badge
in a powder form and then heated to a temperature of substantial heat that melted the powder into a glassy enamel. This practice
would have taken considerable skill to obtain such a beautiful finish to this type of badge. One badge in the Snelgrove collection is
of this type and it is not only a beautiful item but the badge itself is of importance in the memorability of Australia's 1956 Olympic
Games. This badge is not only a great pleasure to have but its correct place in the order of issue was not fully known to this writer
until a search of a Google site revealed a good deal of information The badges were issued to Arena Manager down through the
various positions to Official Transport, a number of positions in excess of ninety. A full list is in the below Google site (List of all
Official Badges 1956 Melbourne:)

There are four different combinations of colours in the enamelling and to further recognise which category the badge represented they
were adorned with a piece of ribbon with the particular position it held printed there upon, also the ribbons varied in colour. This
particular badge is of the (b) type described below, Silver oxidised with blue enamelled border and with enamelled, rings, torch and
Australia. For sports and team officials. This badge belonged to an official engaged on the Fencing team. It is fortunate that the ribbon
is still attached and can attest to the authenticity of who the badge was issued to.
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Badges Olympic Games 1956 Melbourne - Olympic-Museum.de
The symbol of the Organizing Committee was used for the badges, which were 2" x 1¼" in size. Coloured ribbon, appropriately
stamped, denoting the category of the wearer or his sport was attached to each badge.
Once again, the principle was adopted of using the badges for souvenir and identification purposes only and not to admit the wearer
to any venue.
It was also decided that where a recipient, because of the positions he held, was entitled to more than one badge, he would be given
the badge and ribbon corresponding to the highest Olympic position held.
Numbers were estimated by referring to previous celebrations of the Olympic Games and by correlating these figures with the numbers
expected to attend in Melbourne. In addition, every Australian sporting governing body provided a list of its officials and appropriate
numbers were ordered.
Four types of badges were provided instead of three as at previous Games, because it was felt that the competitors should be grouped
separately and given a distinctive badge. The following types of badges, therefore, were issued :—
(a)  Gilt with white enamelled border and with              For guests of honour and high officials
enamelled rings, torch and Australia                             
(b)   Silver oxidized with blue enamelled border            For sports and team officials
and with enamelled rings, torch and Australia
(c)   Silver oxidized with maroon enamelled                  For competitors only
border and with enamelled rings, torch and Australia
(d)   Bronze with dark green enamelled border              For press, photographers, broadcasters, and television and filming operators.
and with enamelled rings, torch and Australia                                                                                                   
Method of Distribution
The following method of distribution of badges and commemorative medals was adopted :—
International Olympic Committee.
Sent to each member individually at his hotel
Sports Officials.
(a) International : By the respective International Federation upon submission of a list of personnel involved
(b) Australian : By the secretary of the Australian governing body
Presidents, secretaries, and members of National Olympic Committees, team officials and competitors.
Badges and commemorative medals for these groups were handed to representatives of each national team after receipt of the
nominal roll containing names and categories of the complete delegation
Press.
By the Press Department of the Organizing Committee. The press were not entitled to commemorative medals
Attaches.
By the Organizing Committee at a meeting of attaches three weeks before the commencement of the Games
Other groups.
By the Technical Department

Plastic Badges.
In addition to the enamelled badges ordered, it was decided to provide plastic badges to distinguish lesser officials and interpreters.
Thus 1,350 badges labelled "Official" and 500  with the designation "Interpreter" were provided. Recipients of plastic badges were
not entitled to commemorative medals.

List of all Official Badges 1956 Melbourne:
Arena manager. Attaché, Chef de Mission. Civic, Committee Guest. Honour Housing, Director. Housing, Member. IF President,
Athletics. IF President, Basketball. IF President, Boxing. IF President, Canoeing. IF President, Cycling. IF President, Fencing.
IF President, Football. IF President, Gymnastics. IF President, Hockey. IF President, Modern Pentathlon. IF President Rowing.
IF President, Shooting. IF President, Swimming. IF President, Weightlifting. IF President, Wrestling. IF President, Yachting.
IF Secretary, Athletics. IF Secretary, Basketball. IF Secretary, Boxing. IF Secretary, Canoeing. IF Secretary, Cycling. IF Secretary,
Fencing. IF Secretary, Football. IF Secretary, Gymnastics. IF Secretary, Hockey. IF Secretary, Modern Pentathlon. IF Secretary,
Rowing. IF Secretary, Shooting. IF Secretary, Swimming. IF Secretary, Weightlifting. IF Secretary, Wrestling. IF Secretary, Yachting.
IOC, Chancellor. IOC, CIO. IOC, President. IOC, Vice President. Medicine, Medical. Miscellaneous. NOC, Member. NOC, President.
NOC, Secretary. Official, Athletics. Official, Basketball. Official, Boxing. Official, Canoeing. Official, Cycling. Official, Demonstration.
Official, Fencing. Official, Football Official, Gymnastics. Official, Hockey. Official, Modern Pentathlon. Official, Rowing. Official, Shooting.
Official, Swimming. Official, Weightlifting. Official, Wrestling. Official, Yachting Organizing Committee, Adm. Dir. Organizing Committee,
Chairman. Organizing Committee, Director. Organizing Committee, Executive. Organizing Committee, Member. Organizing Committee,
President. Organizing Committee, Secretary. Organizing Committee, Sub - Com. Participant, Athletics. Participant, Basketball. Participant,
Boxing. Participant, Canoeing Participant, Cycling. Participant, Demonstration. Participant, Fencing. Participant, Football Participant,
Gymnastics. Participant, Hockey. Participant, Modern Pentathlon. Participant, Rowing. Participant, Shooting. Participant,
Swimming. Participant, Weightlifting. Participant, Wrestling. Participant, Yachting. Press, Director. Team, Official. Transport
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Numbers of Official badges issued is not known here, and as only one may have been given out to some positions, it is likely that several
may have been given out to officials of the various teams. The above badge was issued to an official of the Fencing team and it is likely
that the team had several officials. Of course, the badges of the competitors in the Fencing Team had a different combination of enamel
colours (type c). The number stamped on the back of the above badge is 2642. The badges were made by K. G. Luke. Melbourne.

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20th June 2020