Nurse appeals for burglars to return medals
A Tokoroa family’s holiday at Mt Maunganui was shattered when they heard that their home had been burgled with precious medals and passports stolen.
Irish-born nurse Julia Wilson hopes someone will recognise her ‘‘distinctive medals’’ awarded to her for nursing and sporting achievements in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
‘‘We just felt so violated when my mother-in-law called us with the news,’’ Mrs Wilson said.
The Tokoroa community nurse and her husband left for the Mount on December 27 with the burglary discovered on January 4.
‘‘It was clearly a very professional job apart from what had been stolen there was no obvious sign of a break-in,’’ she said.
Mrs Wilson, who moved to New Zealand 29 years ago, said a safe taken in the burglary contained the medals, family passports and some rare jewellery. ‘‘There were two unique pieces of gold (jewellery) from the Middle East but the medals are of no real value to anyone except me,’’ she said.
The first medal is from the Nursing Council of England and Wales while the second is a keepsake from Whipps Cross University Hospital in London where Mrs Wilson trained.
The stolen sporting medals were for camogie, an Irish women’s stick-and-ball team sport almost identical to the game of hurling played by men. Mrs Wilson played to regional level, while another medal was for representing a Munster football team.
‘‘While we would like to get everything back it would be good to find those medals and our passports,’’ Mrs Wilson said.
Senior Sergeant Graeme Hill said police were investigating the burglary, one of three in Tokoroa over Christmas-New Year.
Mr Hill said the figure was ‘‘below average’’ for the town.