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