ONTARIO, Ottawa C.M.B.A. (Catholic Mutual Benefit Association) c1892 Advertising Token, 28mm Brass, variation of Breton 789
These were issued by Mr. F. R. E. Campeau of Ottawa, who was then (1892) Supreme Deputy of the C. M. B. A., with the view of advertising the society, but they were not put into use. The C.M.B.A. was a fraternal society that dealt primarily in life and health insurance. Members paid dues and were assisted with a stipulated weekly payment during times of sickness or disability.
Organized at Niagara Falls, NY, on July 3, 1876, with a membership of 25, the C.M.B.A. was incorporated in the state of New York on June 9, 1879. The Grand Council of C.M.B.A. of Canada was organized at Windsor, Ontario, on February 10, 1880. It was incorporated under Canadian federal law in March 1893. In Canada, most of its members were of French Canadian descent.
The Breton catalogue lists 3 examples of the C.M.B.A. token, but there are actually more variations.
This piece currently offered is referred to as Breton 789a in that the obverse die of Breton 789 is used, but that it is paired with a stock Pritchard & Andrews reverse die. I have seen one example each in aluminium, and pewter, two examples offered in copper and three other examples in brass (one of which was in Eugene Courteau's collection).
Breton 789 "C.M.B.A" with cross pattee above and ornament below, all within inner circle, with .ENTREZ DANS LA ET SOYEZ HEUREUX around / interlocking Star of David with overlapping anchor, cross, and heart at center, thin flan, Seen in aluminium, pewter, copper and brass with an apparent mintage of only 175 pieces,
Breton 790 is the English version JOIN THE C.B.M.A. AND BE HAPPY. Seen in aluminium, pewter, copper and brass with an apparent mintage of only 70 pieces
Breton 791 is the combination of the French obverse die (Breton 789) and the English obverse die (Breton 790), omitted is the interlocking Star of David reverse. Seen in aluminium, brass, pewter and German silver with an apparent mintage of only 10 pieces.
Breton 789b also exists where the reverse die is paired with a stock Pritchard and Andrews reverse