Ser­vice medals stolen

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

AN AUCK­LAND city coun­cil­lor has been left dev­as­tated by the theft of medals awarded to him for pub­lic ser­vice.

John Lis­ter’s house was bur­gled ear­lier this month while he was over­seas. The thieves took his OBE medal and one he re­ceived for an in­ter­na­tional Ro­tary award.

“They are of no value to any­body.”

Mr Lis­ter’s car was bro­ken into at the Akarana Golf Club on July 1 and his di­ary was stolen.

In it was his ad­dress, phone num­ber and dates marked for when he would be over­seas on hol­i­day.

He re­turned from a 10-day trip to Aus­tralia on Septem­ber 12 to find his house bur­gled and the medals gone.

Hav­ing come home in time to watch the All Blacks game, Mr Lis­ter im­me­di­ately no­ticed his tele­vi­sion and DVD player were gone but it wasn’t un­til the next day he re­alised what else was miss­ing.

Along with the medals, which were in his wardrobe, the thieves emp­tied a jew­ellery box and took sev­eral sets of cuff­links.

Two pairs were solid gold and were given to Mr Lis­ter by his late fa­ther. One pair that had the New Zealand crest on were given to him by the gov­er­nor-gen­eral when he was awarded his OBE.

A gold and opal tie pin and a gold chain were also taken.

Mr Lis­ter says while he was away, some­one rang his house and the an­swer­phone recorded the blank call, which just had road noise in the back­ground.

He be­lieves the thieves were check­ing to make sure he was gone be­fore break­ing in through the front door.

The Maun­gakiekie Golf Club had cars bro­ken into be­fore the in­ci­dent at Akarana, which has been hit twice since and has now had se­cu­rity gates in­stalled.

Mr Lis­ter be­lieves the thieves stand on Mt Roskill and look down on the golf club, wait­ing for the play­ers to leave the carpark for the green.

He says thank­fully the bur­glars who broke into his house didn’t trash it or break any­thing.

“They only took what they could turn to cash,” he says.

The prime min­is­ter’s depart­ment has been in touch with him about get­ting a re­place­ment OBE medal, but he hopes to get the orig­i­nal one back.

“It was the one given to me by the Queen. A sec­ond one is just an­other one out of stock, it doesn’t have the emo­tion.”

Mr Lis­ter was awarded the OBE in 1986 for ser­vices to ex­port and says it was a huge hon­our.

“My fa­ther was Bri­tish and he died just be­fore I got it. He would have been so proud.”

The thieves won’t be able to sell the medals and they are only gold plated and worth lit­tle money, he says.

The bur­glary has left him feel­ing “in­vaded” and he chal­lenges who­ever took the medals to re­turn them to his let­ter­box, no ques­tions asked.

Po­lice have no leads in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the stolen medals should con­tact the Mt Welling­ton tac­ti­cal crime unit on 5267322.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Medals gone: Coun­cil­lor John Lis­ter would like thieves to re­turn his OBE, sim­i­lar to the minia­ture pic­tured, and his in­ter­na­tional Ro­tary medal.

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