Collectors share medals and memories

Bobbie-Lynn Hall
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Wade Peterson (r) is a third generation collector. His Dad Paul (l) is into military artefacts but his collection of choice is bank notes. Although they weren’t on display, he kept a binder of his favourite notes – like his favourite Bermuda one pound – under the table. (Bobbie-Lynn Hall)

A military artefact exhibit and show in Sackville, gave collectors an opportunity to show what they have and buy what they like.

A constant stream of collectors and admirers of military artefacts walked through the Sackville Legion last week for a look at army gear, badges, medals and photos dating back to World War I. Most people manning tables were from Nova Scotia but there were some buyers and sellers from New Brunswick and P.E.I.

Gary Melville, one of the event organizers and member of the Maritime Military Collectors Society, said the 'travelling shows' are always a hit with collectors.

"People here collect badges, medals...anything related to the military, from as early as possible right up until yesterday," he said. "Some are just for display, some are for sale. But no one here is making a living. If you sell something for $20 you usually buy something for $20. Cash is just an indirect way of trading."

Nine-year-old Zackary Belanger was at the show as a buyer.

"I think it's a good way for him to get away from electronics," said his Mom and designated driver Grace. "He saves his money and we go to all of these shows. The history, the things he means something to him just to know someone touched it."

Belanger, who collects items mostly from World War I and II, comes from a military family. His father is in the navy and his grandfather was in the army.

"My favourite item in my collection is my grandfather's uniform. My Grandma gave it to me after he passed," he said proudly. "He was a paratrooper."

Wade Patterson doesn't collect military insignia like his Dad Paul. He prefers bank notes, but that's not what the show was about so he had his collection binder tucked neatly under the table.

"It's a generation addiction for us," said the elder Patterson. "My Dad is a collector too."

Ian Bowen didn't have anything for sale at the exhibit. He was there to share military memorabilia from his family.

"It all started with two hat badges that had belonged to my grandfather," he said. "My grandmother gave them to me in 1970 and that's when my obsession began."

"People have to know this is not about glorifying war, it's about remembering," Bowen was quick to note. "All these badges and medals...these all belonged to someone."

Organizations: Maritime Military Collectors Society

Geographic location: Sackville, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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