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Jerome, Harry and Valerie BC Thesaurus
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Harry and Valerie Jerome fonds

  • MsC-151
  • Fonds
  • 1887-2011, predominant 1946-2011

The fonds consists of textual records and other media created by Harry and Valerie Jerome, which reflect the various facets of Harry Jerome’s life, including academics, athletics, and community/national sports initiatives. While most of the records reflect Harry’s life, the fonds also includes records that pertain to Valerie Jerome’s life, namely her athletic and political career. In addition, a biographical manuscript, which is Valerie Jerome’s written iteration of the story of the Jerome family and Harry’s life, is included in the fonds. The fonds also includes records that were created by the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society and the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Awards. Additionally, the newspaper clipping series includes a file featuring Valerie Jerome’s son and Harry Jerome’s nephew, Stuart Parker, and his political endeavors with the British Columbia Green Party. In order to respect the multiple creators and the overall nature of the records, the fonds has been arranged into the following six series: Harry Jerome records; the Valerie Jerome records; Harry Jerome Award programs; the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society records; newspaper clippings; and photographs.

Jerome, Harry and Valerie

Harry Jerome records

Series consists of textual records and other media, such as a baseball mitt, a canvas banner, fabric patches, and plaques, created by Harry Jerome during his life. The records pertain to his athletic, academic, and professional careers. The series includes general athletic records, incoming and outgoing correspondence, awards and certificates, and personal records. Additionally, the series contains one file with correspondence and other materials from Ron C. Gibbs, founder and fund administrator for the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund. Also included in the series are two files that attest to Harry Jerome’s involvement in national athletic programming for youth: Sports Canada, including the Cross-Canada Sports Demonstration, and the Premier’s Sports Award Program.

Academic records

The file contains textual records from North Vancouver High School and the University of Oregon. The records include Harry’s 1959 North Vancouver High School Annual, a university term paper, a University of Oregon graduation program with Harry’s signature, and his MSc. thesis, entitled “A Study of the Effectiveness of Three Models of Starting Blocks and of a Series of Six Starts in a Forty Yard Sprint”. There are three photographs attached to the thesis.

Personal records

The file includes personal records created by Harry Jerome during his life. The file includes records such as a ticket stub to his high school graduation, a caricature book, two booklets on Vancouver/the Lions Gate Bridge, and a Sports Illustrated magazine.

General athletic records

The file contains textual records and other media pertaining to Harry’s Jerome’s athletic career. The records include his little league baseball mitt, a canvas banner, and miscellaneous papers.

Ceremony programs

File contains textual records pertaining to the various events that Harry Jerome attended during his life. The records include programs from the Order of Canada ceremony, the BC Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, and Olympic Night in Canada.

Sports Canada records

File contains textual records pertaining to Harry Jerome’s role within Sports Canada, a program that worked in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Sport. The file captures two main initiatives that Harry was involved with during his time at Sports Canada: The Cross Canada Sports Demonstration Program and the Grunion Program.

Valerie Jerome records

Series consists of textual records and other media, created and accumulated by Valerie Jerome. While the series was created by Valerie Jerome, the records mostly pertain to Harry’s athletic career and his prominence in the media, even after his death. However, the series does contain some genealogical records about the Howard/Jerome family, and an untitled, biographical manuscript about her family and Harry’s life. The series also contains records relating to Valerie’s political career with the British Columbia Green Party as well as her own athletic achievements.

Howard/Jerome family records

File contains textual records and three photographs created and accumulated by Valerie Jerome. The records pertain to the genealogy of the Howard and Jerome families. The file mostly contains records on John Armstrong “Army” Howard, Harry and Valerie’s grandfather. The file also contains a CCF Convention badge and photograph that belonged to Harry Jerome Sr.

Untitled manuscript

File contains an untitled manuscript created by Valerie Jerome. The manuscript is a detailed, biographical work that discusses the Howard and Jerome families. The manuscript focuses on the lives on Harry and Valerie, including their athletic careers.

Posthumous records

The file contains textual records, 3 audio cassettes, and 3 videocassettes created and accumulated by Valerie Jerome, following Harry Jerome’s death in 1982. The records include a funeral program, posters depicting Harry, and materials that picture Harry’s commemorative statue. The audio cassettes include: Harry’s interview with Heather Murdoch from Northern Canada; a recording that discusses a lawsuit that was being carried out after a slanderous comment was made by a radio commentator, Branigan; and a recording of Bruce Kidd commenting on the harsh treatment that Harry was subjected to by the media. The 3 videocassettes include: a post-humous discussion of Harry on a talk show; Spirit of the Games; and, a promotional video on the Premier’s Sports Award program.

Harry Jerome Awards programs

The series contains textual records that pertain to the Harry Jerome Awards, an annual ceremony that is arranged and presented by the Black Business and Professional Association. The series is arranged into one file, containing ceremony programs. The first ceremony was conducted in 1983. The ceremony was created by Hamlin Grange, Al Hamilton, Denham Jolly, Al Mercury and Errol Townshend, who had gathered in Toronto in November 1982 to discuss how to celebrate six Black athletes who had distinguished themselves at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia. The group had planned to host a reception and decided to invite Harry Jerome as the keynote speaker; however, when Harry Jerome suddenly died in December 1982, the group decided to name the awards banquet after him. The first ceremony was held on March 5, 1983. In the first year of the ceremony, awards were only given based on athletic achievements. In 1984, the categories were expanded to include academics and arts. In addition, it was decided to honour members of the Black community who had contributed to the community.

Harry Jerome Commemorative Society records

The series contains textual records created by the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society, which was formed by Valerie Jerome, following Harry Jerome’s death. The Harry Jerome Commemorative Society was formed to achieve two main objectives: to establish a memorial tribute to Harry Jerome in recognition of his athletic achievements and contributions to society; and, to foster an appreciation of athletic accomplishment through the provision of scholarships and bursaries for athletes in BC. The Harry Jerome Commemorative Society funded the creation of a bronze statue of Harry Jerome, which can now be found in Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, through donations and their main fundraising event, a commemorative dinner in 1985. The series has been arranged into four files: general society records; meeting minutes; sculpture sub-committee records; and financial records.

General society records

File contains textual records created by the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society. Records pertain to the Society’s mission, mandate and miscellaneous tasks.

Sculpture Sub-committee records

File contains textual records created by the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society. Records pertain to the creation of the memorial statue of Harry Jerome, including requests for donations, information on the artist, and newspaper clippings.

Financial records

File contains textual records, including tax forms, receipt books, and ledgers, created by the Harry Jerome Commemorative Society.

Photographs

The series contains photographs, negatives, and slides created and accumulated by both Harry and Valerie Jerome. The photographs dates from 1919-[2005] and reflect the personal and professional lives of Harry, Valerie, and the Jerome family in general.

Newspaper Clippings

Series consists of newspaper clippings, dating from 1946-2012. The clippings pertain to the lives of Harry and Valerie Jerome, including their achievements in track and involvement in various groups and initiatives. There are also several clippings about Valerie’s son and Harry’s nephew, Stuart Parker, primarily concerning his role in the British Columbia Green Party – first as a member of the Young Greens political youth organization and eventually as leader of the Green Party. As the clippings were accumulated by different persons, including Harry, Valerie, and friends who sent the clippings to Valerie following Harry’s death, they are contained within their own series. The clippings reflect the mixed reaction that the media had towards Harry Jerome; many of the articles are critical of Harry. During the peak years of his career from 1960-1968, there are many articles about his various races, records, and injuries. The

clippings dating from 1982-2012 were collected by Valerie Jerome and include posthumous articles about Harry and the creation/unveiling of the Harry Jerome statue. There are also several clippings on Valerie’s political career, including campaign ads, letters to the editor and news stories from political events.

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