their long dead ancestors, and so we, as collectors, are now the only ones still remembering the sacrifice made so long ago. We went on to say that we don t simply collect metal and silk, but carry out research on the man behind the medal too, care about who he was and what he did, and that actually, as medals are private property, we wondered why Mr Stoffer felt it was his right to tell recipients what they could or couldn’t do with their medals after they’d been awarded them.
We were not expecting a reply and were therefore surprised when one appeared, sadly it was a “form letter” and identical to the one received by the British Medal Forum members who also emailed him but at least there was a response and for that we were grateful. We were interested to note that apparently the proposed bill had received an “overwhelming amount of support” from veterans and their family members as well as members of the armed forces and veterans’ organisations. We were even told that the idea came from them in the first place! Mr Stoffer claimed that the bill would still allow medal collectors to collect—they just could not buy or sell medals for financial gain. Admittedly, he did acknowledge that collectors do a “wonderful job preserving war medals” and that we do keep the memory of veterans and their sacrifices alive. We are very grateful that our efforts haven’t gone completely unnoticed by the illustrious MP but saddened that, in order to avoid being branded scum by him, such efforts must only be undertaken if we get the medals as gifts or by trade—we mustn’t, apparently, buy or sell them! The fact that the bill has the backing of an “overwhelming” number of veterans, their families and relevant organisations did come as something of a surprise—in all my time in the medal world I’ve never once heard a veteran or a member of their family voice such an objection—have you?
We sent another email to Mr Stoffer, again pointing out the fact that medals were private property and it really wasn’t up to a Government to decree what happened to them and also pointing out that to propose we swapped or traded medals like bubblegum cards or marbles would do far more to demean the sacrifice of the recipients than sel1in them ever could—we have yet to receive a reply.
Needless to say we disagree with Mr Stoffer 100 per cent and are, frankly, shocked that anyone could hold such an attitude; but this attempt of his to outlaw the sale of military medals in Canada, coupled with the recent “Stolen Valour Act” in the States, does again highlight the potential threats posed by people outside of out hobby who don’t really understand what we do. If you would like to help enlighten Mr Stoffer a little about who we are and what we do then do get in touch with him, I’d like to