The Sir John Coape Sherbrooke Award was created in 1999 by the Historic Sherbrooke Village Development Society and is presented bi-annually to "persons who have made significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of the heritage of Historic Sherbrooke Village, Guysborough County, and Nova Scotia".
About Sir John Coape Sherbrooke
While not much is known about Sir John Coape Sherbrooke the man, he certainly made quite an impact as a soldier and public figure. In a relatively short span of time in what was to become Canada, he was honoured by at least 4 of the then colonies, by having communities named after him. There is a Sherbrooke in Prince Edward Island, one in Ontario, one in Quebec, and of course the most famous one of all - given the popularity of Stan Rogers' work around the world - Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia.
He first served in Nova Scotia as a British Army officer in 1784-1785. He later saw service in the Netherlands (1794) India (1799) and throughout the Mediterranean (1805-1809). He returned to Nova Scotia as Lieutenant-Governor in 1811 and served until 1816. He was extremely popular with the business community and merchants, in large part because he issued letters of Marque commissioning privateers. The records, by the way, show no mention of Elcid Barrett as a real privateer - that's a bit of poetic license on Stan Rogers' part.
In 1816, he returned to India under the command of Lord Selkirk where he served with the famed "Light Brigade" directing the Regiment de Meuron on the assault of Seringaphatam. After this he returned to North America where he was named Governor of Lower Canada in 1816.
Although they only stayed in Lower Canada two years, Lord and Lady Sherbrooke established many strong connections, not the least of which was with the Molson family and the City of Montréal. They were among the first guests to stay at John Molson's new luxury hotel for steamship passengers, the Mansion House Hotel, and Molson paid tribute to Lady Sherbrooke by naming the fourth vessel in his fleet of steamships for her. Another visible tribute to the Sherbrookes was the naming of a fashionable Montreal street, as well as the town of Sherbrooke, after them.