Well this week and the one before we had TVNZ filming in relation to a general interest story on medals and medal mounting, and also seeking an expert opinion on whether certain medals brought to us were real or not.
I was previously a fraud investigator and have generally shunned media involvement in what I do now as a follow on from my previous occupation but I acknowledge that in the present climate with ANZAC Day becoming very much a family event and a resurgence in crowds and a general interest in our military history that there is an interest in medals.
I take medal mounting and restoration seriously. As I have said before, its not like I am putting new brakes on someones Corolla, but rather I am being entrusted with their treasured irreplaceable heirlooms. And I take that seriously.
I commend TVNZ and Fair Go in raising the issue they have. It is one which those in my industry have been aware of for some time but few have known how to tackle it. The industry needs a clean up, especially concerning the other abhorent practice of grinding medals by mounters who lack the ability to get them to sit flat without damaging them.
On a positive note I was told yesterday by a retired Colonel with service in both the UK and NZ forces that I am the first master craftsman he has encountered since being in New Zealand (14 years).