Rsa in Gun Over Sale of War Items
“They also had a plaque of mine and a brassard from my service in Rhodesia.”
BRASSED OFF: Marilyn Subritzky wants to know where her grandfather's medals collection, loaned to the Thames RSA, went after the club closed its doors. via Stuff
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Stuff.
Dunedin, New Zealand
#1 Apr 28, 2007
sounds like a gold digger trying to get money from the poor r.s.a
#2 Apr 29, 2007
The news article was misleading and deflamatory,I will be urging my Dad to take legal action.
#3 Nov 11, 2009
I'd be peeved too, was in kindness they were loanes to the RSA, its a shame they weren't looked after and treasured as they should have been. Shame on the RSA, no respect there.
Auckland, New Zealand
#4 Oct 8, 2011
The above article is not the first incident in New Zealand where 'genuine' supposed War medal/memorabelia collectors have stolen from innocent Kiwi families.
A family in Thames had the same happen to them in 2007, Waikato Times and TV1 News conducted a news article after an investigation to no avail. A British War medal/memorabelia collector/dealer of which was a member of the Thames RSA had "volunteerd" his services to kindly treat bora on a case in which War medals had been placed to be protected, subsequently the medal's were never returned. Some time later the Thames RSA went into recievership and the British War Medal Collector stated that the said item's were sold to cover debt of the Thames RSA.
On persuing the matter further the family from Waikato were refused any further information by the British medal collector who tried to hide denying any responsibility blaming the Thames RSA. A Thames local put the family onto an Accountant in Paeroa of which dealt with the auction of items from the RSA, the accountant refused to provide detail's of the auctioneer or a list of item's that had been sold on behalf of the RSA. Other Thames local's have stated the missing item's never went to auction and were never on the auction list.
It is sad how these low life fraudster's take advantage of innocent Kiwi families stealing not only part of the family's heritage but also part of New Zealand's heritage to either keep in their very 'own' private collection or to sell to unsuspecting International War Medal collector's abroad.
Interestingly all the Newspaper article's and TV item have been removed from the internet. Below are some links that are now deleted.
The Waikato faimly now intend to create their own website to try and locate the item's before placing them on display at the Waiouru Army Muesem.
Auckland, New Zealand
#5 Oct 8, 2011
What is it with these War medal collectors in New Zealand? Preying on vulnerable, mourning, Kiwi widows just to make a buck by stealing then selling their loved ones medals abroad or for keepsie's in their very own private collection. Really?
War medal collectors are combing newspaper death notices to harass families of late veterans for their medals, grieving families say.
Others are offering ridiculously low prices to vulnerable widows, who may be unaware of the medals' real value.
And one is accused of taking medals to find replicas or second-hand replacements to complete sets - then failing to return either the originals or the replacements.
The Herald on Sunday has tracked the activities of one South Island dealer whose Trade Me account has been disabled after complaints.
He and his wife would not comment, but the Herald on Sunday has been told of two occasions when police went to his house to retrieve medals.
Aucklander Paul Mannion sent the trader a group of medals - and ended up having to travel to the South Island to recover them.
Mannion's grandfather Brigadier George Palmer Cade had been awarded medals from various World War II campaigns. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for acts of bravery and "mentioned in dispatches".
Mannion wanted a full set of the medals his grandfather had been awarded, as well as replicas made for his own two sons, aged 11 and 14.
He contacted the medals office at the Defence Force and was able to claim a couple of medals that his grandfather hadn't received. He sent these to the trader with a request for replicas or second-hand replacements of the remaining medals.
After handing over more and more cash -$2000 more than originally agreed - Mannion eventually realised the job would never be completed. So he travelled to the South Island to recover the medals, with a police escort.
Auckland woman Donna Baker, 48, parted with more than $6000 upfront for replacement medals awarded to four family members who had served in WWI and WWII, including her father.
Her son Toby, 14, wanted them after having his interest piqued by an Anzac Day Dawn Parade and studying New Zealand's war efforts at school.
After nine months, she made a police complaint about the South Island trader. Police seized and returned two of her father's New Zealand operational medals.
Claims and counter-claims have been lodged with courts, the latest being a civil lawsuit the dealer has filed against Baker for $21,000.
Air Force historian Peter Wheeler said many widows "unwittingly" parted with their late husbands' medals for very little money, sometimes for nothing.
"Collectors will contact them and ask,'What are you going to do with them? You can give them to me, because they are not worth anything'."
Collectors would find people with medals by combing through death notices in newspapers, he said. "Quite often the notice includes the service number and collectors can go online with that information to confirm what medals that person received."
He added: "The medals are mostly sold offshore and they are gone. I'm sure it's happening every week."
Wheeler said many families would be stunned to know the genuine value of medals. A Distinguished Flying Cross from the Battle of Britain could fetch between $10,000 and $45,000.
Auckland, New Zealand
#6 Oct 8, 2011
And yet MORE dodgy New Zealand War Medal Collectors
The loss of 30 war medals apparently stolen from Te Awamutu Museum has shocked museum staff and RSA members.
The loss was discovered only after one of its medals was put up for sale by an American collector on eBay earlier this year.
It prompted a complete audit of the museum's inventory which has shown that 30 of its 175 historical medals are unaccounted for.
The missing medals all have links with Te Awamutu and many were given to the Museum Trust Board, which owns the collection, by family members and other parties and organisations.
Waipa District Council museum and heritage manager Jan White said she had no idea how the medals had gone missing, but she believed they had disappeared between 1991 and 1996, although she could not be certain.
Te Awamutu Police Senior Sergeant Dave Simes confirmed police had received a large amount of information from the museum which they would begin working through.
Mrs White said that the medals went missing at a time when the museum was being run by volunteers. Since the Waipa District Council took over managing the museum in 2005 "security was superb".
"It has nothing to do with the current staff it was so long ago," she said.
The museum had introduced a range of controls including random audits.
The full inventory audit at Te Awamutu Museum is expected to take at least three years.
The 10,000 pieces will be checked against historical documents and registers.
"It's taken six months to do a full investigation of 175 medals," Mrs White said.
"It's a huge task. It's not something that's done in five minutes."
The council and museum were this morning unable to provide details of all the medals.
The first of the missing medals will be handed back to the museum on Armistice Day on November 11.
Te Awamutu RSA bought the medal for $800 from Auckland collector Phillip Beattie.
He had bought the Boer War medal after he researched its background when he found it had been listed for sale on internet trading site Ebay by an American collector.
The South African war medal originally belonged to George Osborne and will be reunited with his two World War I medals also in the museum's care.
The RSA is also paying for a headstone to be put on Mr Osborne's unmarked grave.
Te Awamutu RSA vice-president Terry Findlay said he had been made aware only in the past few weeks that more medals had gone missing.
He said the RSA would not have the funds to buy all 30 back if they were located.
Waipa deputy mayor Peter Lee was "gobsmacked" to learn such a large number had gone missing, pointing out that it was not just the National Army Museum in Waiouru that had medals stolen.
"We should be going out and making every effort to recover these," he said.
The stolen medals at the Te Awamutu Museum and the National Army Museum in Waiouru, which lost 96 in 2007, should be a loud wake-up call for all museums to keep their inventory updated to ensure the medals were secure in their care. he said.
Eight Victoria Crosses and one VC and bar were among the 96 medals stolen from the Waiouru museum in 2007.
A depositions hearing for one of the two men accused of those thefts is under way at the Wanganui District Court this week.
Another man, who also has name suppression, was earlier sentenced to 11 years' jail for the theft, which shocked the country and led to a large police operation to recover the medals. The museum has since had a security overhaul.
- Waikato Times
#7 Feb 27, 2014
Some very shady dealings went on while a certain RSA president was in charge of the Thames RSA.
There were any locals families who had donated and loaned things over the years and it all went missing I only know of one guy who got his propeller back and it was over 12ft long its pretty hard to make that disappear.
I have spoken to a few former RSA member and they think the police should have been brought in over the money and property issues. rightly so.
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