10 Jun 2015
Today I signed the Statutory Declaration (claim by immediate family section) in front of my friend and JP, addressed the envelope to the the Directorate of Awards and Honours and posted it off with both excitement and dread. I feel as though my heart is in my throat! Surely, the Directorate will accept my application, as both daughter and family historian, to received the War Medal and the Australian Service Medal of Ronald Norman Di Salvia on behalf of my sisters.
I guess the next couple of weeks will be a “nervous wait”. I have no idea how long it will take to process my application, and I am unsure of the outcome, but I can feel a thrill rise within every time I think that I may actually get to see, or even hold, these treasures.
The letter that I received from the Directorate which told me that dads medals had been unissued contained some surprising details. It went to great lengths to explain that it could not be held responsible for any property dispute within the family after the awards were issued. The exact wording was:
“Once issued service awards become the personal property of the recipient. Any dispute arising after the service awards are issued is to be resolved in the same way as any other property matter. Defence has no responsibility for the service awards that have been issued, and will not become involved in any property dispute that may arise”.
Obviously, the Directorate has been dragged into a number of property disputes in the past, but I don’t think my sisters and I have fought over anything since we were children. I did think it best to phone my sisters and make sure that there was no conflict “within our ranks” though, and as I suspected everyone was quite happy for me to apply for the awards on their behalf. Should I fail in my application, Noeleen or Gwen, Kim or Kellie will make an application so that the Directorate will know that we are a united family and not interested in fighting over property after the fact.
May an answer arrive soon.