ARMADALE Rotarian Terry Barritt is devastated at the theft of his Order of Australia medals after they were stolen from his Roleystone property last week.
Mr Barritt (77) received the medal in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his local, national and international service to Rotary over a 43-year period.
A set of three medals and a commemorative case were stolen.
“The medals are gone and I’ve lost the most valuable treasure that I’ve ever been given,” Mr Barritt said.
He attended an annual dinner hosted by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson last week for OAM recipients and was the only person present not wearing his medal.
“I felt a bit bare,” he said.
“I don’t know whether they will be recovered or replaced.”
He is the Armadale Rotary Club’s longest-serving member after joining the club in 1973.
Mr Barritt has had a long career as a mining engineer, working with Alcoa, and a farmer with 3035ha at Katanning.
“It was the perfect fit for what Rotary needed,” he said.
His approach to getting involved with projects was to say yes then figure out the details later.
“I got a phone call saying there was a problem with a project in Tanzania and I was asked to have a look at it,” he said.
“I said, ‘yes I’ll do it, where is Tanzania?’”
One of the largest Rotary International projects Mr Barritt was involved was overseeing the construction of more than 30 large irrigation dams for 10 years in the Bulacan Province in the Philippines.
“It was a pretty interesting experience,” he said.
He was a district governor in 1988-89 and managed the reconstruction of the World War I Memorial at the Araluen Botanic Park.
The medals were personally engraved with Mr Barritt’s name on the back.
He said the medals had no commercial value but were extremely valuable to him.
Anyone with information about the medals should call police on 1800 333 000 or email email@example.com, quoting inquiry number 130916 1307 88860.