This is a story of the Anzac spirit being renewed.
For a while now we have been collaborating with Ian from Medals Reunited New Zealand. Yesterday, I called on Ian's local expertise for a search that started when I received a New Zealand Defence Service Medal from Australia Post. The medal, still in its box of issue had come apart from the mail packaging. The medal was awarded to LAC J D Stewart RNZAF.
I assumed that LAC Stewart moved to Australia at some point but with out his full name it was difficult to track him down. I sent the service details to Ian and his immediate response was:
aside, I served with a Flight Sergeant John Stewart,
Communications Operator, at RNZAF Wigram from 1972-87; service number is
about the right vintage, lost touch after 1990.'
What would the chances be that my contact would know this person?
First thing this morning I received a reply from Ian that this indeed was his former colleague. Through the NZDF we were able to get in contact with John and I've arranged to send him his medal. A really nice addition to this story is that only today, John was at Sydney airport about to board a plane to New Zealand for a holiday. Now that contact has been re-established, John is going to go and see Ian. The timing couldn't be better.
Thanks to Jac, my contact in Australia Post, Logan of the NZDF and Ian of MRNZ.
The returned medal tally is now 1747.