Other decorations and medals
June 2009 / December 2015

Private institutions

SEVERAL private institutions award medals to their members and supporters. In terms of the official Table of Precedence, they rank after national and provincial awards and may not be worn together with official awards.

On this page : SA Emergency Services Institute, South African Life-Saving Society, SA Noodhulpliga, SA Red Cross Society, SA Scouting Association, and the Voortrekkers.

South African Emergency Services Institute

The SA Emergency Services Institute (SAESI) (formerly the SA Fire Services Institute), was founded in 1959.

N.J.L. Swanepoel Award for Meritorious Service (1978- )
Awarded for exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty.

Insignia: An 8-pointed multi-rayed star with the SAFSI emblem in the centre. It appears to be suspended from a chain rather than a ribbon.

Servimus Medal (1978- )
Awarded to members of foreign fire services for exceptionally meritorious service to South African fire services.

Insignia: Similar to the N.J.L. Swanepoel award, but with a fireman's helmet on crossed axes in the centre. It is suspended from a brooch bar.

SAFSI Long Service Medal (1963-78) — For 35 years service.

SAESI Long Service Medal: Gold (1978- ) — For 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular medal displaying the Institute's emblem encircled by its name (obverse) and two hands encircled by the words "Vir lang diens en goeie gedrag - For long service and good conduct" (reverse)

SAESI Long Service Medal: Silver (1978- ) — For 20 years service.

Insignia: Similar to the gold medal, but in silver.

SAESI Long Service Medal: Bronze (1978- ) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: Similar to the gold medal, but in bronze.

South African Life-Saving Society

SA Life-Saving Society medal ribbons

The Royal Life-Saving Society established branches in South Africa from 1896 onwards. In 1961, they separated from the parent body to form the SA Life-Saving Society (SALSS).

SALSS Medal for Valour (1963-77) — For bravery. Awarded in silver and bronze.

SALSS Distinguished Service Award (1963-77) — For 25 years service.

SALSS Loyal Service Award (1963- ) — For 10 years service.

Suid-Afrikaanse Noodhulpliga

SA Noodhulpliga medal ribbons

The SA Noodhulpliga ('South African Emergency Assistance League') is the Afrikaner equivalent of the Red Cross. It was established in 1935. Like the Red Cross, it awards medals to its members.

Medalje vir Dapperheid — 'Medal for Bravery'.

Josenia van Schoor-dekorasie — 'Josenia van Schoor Decoration'.

Medal — For 30 years service.

Medal — For 20 years service.

Insignia: A bronze(?) medal in the shape of the Voortrekker Monument, depicting a scene of an ox-wagon moving through mountains (obverse).

Medal — For 10 years service.

Insignia: The stretchers and torch from the SANHL coat of arms and the number 10 on a 'castle'-shaped medal superimposed on a multi-rayed 5-pointed gold-coloured star. There appears to be another design, too, displaying two serpents coiled around a torch below the number 10 on a blue shield in the centre of a multi-rayed 10-pointed gold-coloured star.

South African Red Cross Society

SA Red Cross Society medal ribbons

The Red Cross has been active in South Africa since 1896.

Voluntary Medical Service Medal (1931- ) — For 15 years voluntary service. Clasps are awarded for additional 5-year periods of service.

Insignia: A circular silver medal depicting the head of Florence Nightingale (obverse).

Exceptional First Aid Award (1921-60)

Conspicuous Service Medal (1960- )

Proficiency Medallion — Awarded in gold and silver.

Insignia: A circular medal displaying a red cross inside a circlet inscribed "The South African Red Cross Society' (obverse), and the words 'Proficiency Medallion Awarded to ....." (reverse).

Efficiency Medal: 50 Years — For 50 years service.

Efficiency Medal: 40 Years — For 40 years service.

Efficiency Medal: 30 Years — For 30 years service.

Efficiency Medal: 20 Years — For 20 years service.

Efficiency Medal: 10 Years — For 10 years service.

Efficiency Medal: 3 Years — For 3 years service.

Insignia: A red cross on a white disc within a blue circlet inscribed "South African Red Cross", above a white scroll inscribed 'Three Years Service' (obverse).

South African Scouting Association

SA Scouting Association medal ribbons

The South African Scouting Association, (SASA), formerly Boy Scouts of South Africa, dates back to 1907. It awards medals to its members, and to others who support the organisation.

Gallantry Cross: Bronze — For special heroism or extraordinary risk.

Insignia: A bronze cross pattee displaying the SA Scouting Association emblem.

Gallantry Cross: Silver — For gallantry involving considerable risk.

Insignia: Same design as the bronze cross, but in silver.

Gallantry Cross: Gilt — For gallantry involving moderate risk.

Insignia: Same design as the bronze cross, but in gilt.

Medal for Meritorious Conduct — For exceptional courage, endurance, initiative or devotion to duty, often under suffering.

Insignia: A voided circle framing the SASA emblem.

Order of the Silver Wolf — Awarded, until 1959, for most exceptional service. Replaced by the Order of the Silver Springbok.

Insignia: A silver prowling wolf suspended from a neck ribbon.

Order of the Silver Springbok (1959- ) — Awarded for most exceptional service.

Insignia: A silver springbok suspended from a neck ribbon.

Order of the Silver Acorn — Awarded, until 1959, for especially distinguished service. Replaced by the Order of the Silver Protea.

Insignia: A voided silver circle framing an acorn.

Order of the Silver Protea (1959- ) — Awarded for especially distinguished service.

Insignia: A silver protea flower in a laurel wreath.

Medal of Merit — For especially good work (minimum 5 years, usually 7) for the Boy Scout movement. Open to both uniformed and non-uniformed ('lay') members.

Insignia: Same design as the Medal for Meritorious Conduct.

Long Service Medal — For 20 years service (or 15 years for Scouters, provided they have held warrants for at least 10 years).

Insignia: A circular silver medal depicting either a springbok and the SASA emblem (until 1959) or the SASA emblem alone (since 1959).

Voortrekkers

Voortrekkers medal ribbons

The Afrikaner equivalent of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides, established in 1931. In addition to qualification and other badges, it awards a few medals to its members.

Dekorasie vir Buitengewone Diens: Goud — 'Decoration for Extraordinary Service: Gold'. Awarded to Voortrekkers officers for extraordinary contributions to the organisation.

Insignia: A gold-coloured octagon displaying the Voortrekker badge within a laurel wreath (obverse).

Medalje vir Besondere Diens: Goud — 'Medal for Exceptional Service: Gold'. Awarded to Voortrekkers officers for exceptionally devoted service at national level over a period of at least four years.

Insignia: A circular gold-coloured medal displaying the Voortrekker badge within a wreath of protea flowers (obverse).

Medalje vir Besondere Diens: Silwer — 'Medal for Exceptional Service: Silver'. Awarded to Voortrekkers officers for exceptionally devoted service at regional level over a period of at least four years.

Insignia: A circular silver-coloured medal displaying a flaming torch (obverse).

Medalje vir Besondere Diens: Brons — 'Medal for Exceptional Service: Bronze'. Awarded to Voortrekkers officers for exceptionally devoted service at commando (i.e. basic unit) level over a period of at least five years, including completion of a leadership course.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal simulating an ox-wagon wheel, with a scroll around the hub (obverse).

References :
  • Fire & Civil Defence (May-June 1980).
  • Military Medal Society of SA Newsletter No 214.
  • Parsons, Dave : personal communication about (SA Red Cross ribbons.
  • Taylor, A.; 'Awards to the Boy Scouts of South Africa' in Military Medal Society of South Africa Journal No 35 (Apr 1994).
  • Voortrekkers website.
 
© Arthur Radburn
 
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