Waterloo Coin Society
Proudly serving collectors in the Region of Waterloo and surrounding areas since 1959!


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The Waterloo Coin Society Logo

It Took a Lot of Meddling

W.C.S. Logo

Waterloo Coin Society
Official Logo

On various occasions at both regular and executive meetings, there were discussions on devising an insignia for the Society, and the members were asked to submit sketched suggestions. After great length, Mr. Les Marks, a brave fellow member, submitted the only suggestion received. This was in May 1960, and strangely enough, it flunked the membership's vote for approval.

However, along with the suggested insignia, he also suggested that, if accepted, is should be made into a club medal. This idea took hold very emphatically, and although the design appeared to be unsuccessful, the idea of a medal seemed to gain more momentum than the need for an insignia; but it remained steadfast that whatever design be accepted, it would serve for both.

The Society's executive committee therefore sent out a special letter accompanying its monthly bulletin in June 1960 announcing that every member is invited to participate in an Insignia Suggestion Contest, in which a 1913 gold sovereign would be a prize. Members were asked to submit their ideas of what they thought would be a suitable design. They were told that art talent was of no concern -- just scratch your noodles and submit ideas -- as many as you wish.

W.C.S. Logo - Original Sketch

Original sketch produced
by designer Les Marks;
An early version

At the regular meeting of June 14, 1960, over 30 sketches were recieved; and each was voted on individually by a showing of hands (after all members present were given ample time to view and consider them); and, by golly Les' original drawing stole the gold sovereign by a wide margin.

But something was still not just right, so, after more jibbering and more noodle-scratching, the executive members, in July 1960, prescribed the manner in which his drawing should be revised. A meeting then took place in the designer's home, between himself, Mr. William English and Mr. Frank Uttley, and an agreement was unanimous for a final design. We want to emphasize, however, that Mr. Marks' basic design remained the same, and our hats are off to him for a mighty fine piece of work.

The above is taken from a summary entitled "The Story Behind Our Waterloo Coin Society Medal" originally prepared for the Waterloo Coin Society's second annual banquet in 1961.

About Les Marks - The Designer of our Logo

Les Marks

Logo designer Les Marks
in military uniform

W.C.S. Logo - Original Sketch

Original sketch produced
by designer Les Marks;
More-or-less final version

Les Marks lived in Brantford until 1939. He has always been interested in art and design but had no opportunity to study seriously until starting a correspondence course in 1939. He had to give this up due to World War II when he joined the 54th Field Regiment at Brantford, Ontario, followed by 6 years service (3-½ years overseas in England and the continent). In 1944 he was commissioned, and in September 1945 he was discharged, the war having ended.

Finally, Les seized the opportunity to take an apprenticeship (under the Department of Veterans' Affairs) in commercial art with Merchants Printing Co., Kitchener. Four years later he began a sales career and became sales representative for Warwick Marking Products, Sanderson Smith Press, and Kraft Tapes of London. During representation of these firms, he found his apprenticeship in art a decided asset and did a considerable amount of designing and art work for all three firms.

1913C Gold Sovereign

1913C Gold Sovereign,
prize for winning design

Some of his achievements include the designing of quite a few centenary celebration wooden nickels; these including Kitchener and Waterloo. He also designed and invented a "survey monument marker" which is now in use all across Canada, and a number of other items.

Having been approached by Mr. William English and Mr. Frank Uttley on behalf of the Waterloo Coin Society, with regards to a club insignia, he tackled the job willingly, suggested producing a medal, and then followed through to completion, winning the design award presented by the Society in October, 1960.

Les Marks continued his work with both Warwick Marking Products of Kitchener and Kraft Tapes of London while still carrying on his military career. He attained the position of Second-in-Command of the Scots Fusiliers of Canada (now the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada).

The above is taken from a summary entitled "An Introduction to the Designer of our Medal - Mr. Les Marks" originally prepared for the Waterloo Coin Society's second annual banquet in 1961.