A gold medal was also struck by Spink, in London, for the Haile Selassie I Prize. Some 60 to 80 of these were minted, using the distinctively-coloured Ethiopian gold. Emperor Haile Selassie donated a considerable number of his personal assets, including properties, to fund this Prize, and noted: “We have established this chartered and completely independent organisation [The Haile Selassie I Prize Trust] by donating Our personal estates and appointing distinguished officials as Trustees to ensure the promotion and encouragement of activities and proficiencies of the Ethiopian people in the diversified fields of Amharic literature, fine arts, agriculture, industry, educational activities and humanitarian activities.”
“Our desire to encourage outstanding contributions transcends the boundaries of Our Empire. The advancement of Ethiopia is not Our sole interest. The African Research Award and the Empress Menen Award are therefore intended to provide strong incentives throughout the Continent of Africa and the world at large.”
The Awards were granted with a substantial cash grant, as well as the valuable and attractive collar medal. Prime Minister Tsehafe Tezaz Aklilu Habte Wold, chairman of the HS I Prize Trust, said in 1973: “In the course of the nine years since the institution was established, 29 National, 18 International, and two Empress Menen Awards were made in the fields that the Prize Trust encourages.”
The properties donated by the In 1974, the winners included Prof. Edward Ullendorf, the man who later translated Emperor Haile Selassie’s autobiography. His award was for his work in Ethiopian studies. Fitawrari Amde Aberra won the award in the field of agriculture, and Liqe Tebebt Aklile Berhan Wolde Qurqos won the Award for educational activities.
Emperor to the Trust Fund theoretically remain its property, and steps are being taken by the Crown Council to restore the Fund and the Prize to operation once again.
Significantly, the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, was a recipient of a scholarship from the Haile Selassie Prize Trust, as were many others. It is to be noted that the Emperor also donated the Genete Leul Palace to establish the Haile Selassie I University
The Haile Selassie I Prize medal, an international award which may yet be revived as an important recognition of intellectual accomplishment (above).
There were other commemorative medals issued during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. The Franklin Mint, of the United States, struck three medals in 1967 to commemorate the 75th birthday of the Emperor. They were, Dennis Gill noted,1Gill, Dennis. Op Cit. Page 177. distributed through the Ethiopian Pavillion at that year’s Montreal World’s Fair. One was struck in .750 gold to present to the Emperor; 400 .999 fine silver pieces were struck and numbered and were sold in 200 sets of two pieces each. But the Franklin Mint medallions were not designed to be presented as recognition for achievement or service; rather, they were merely commemorative.