Medals from the Collection of Warwick Cary
Warwick George Cary, E.S.M., M.St.J., J.P. (1949-2020)
Warwick Cary was born at Engadine in the Sutherland Shire, south of Sydney, New South Wales, on 29 July 1949. He grew up in Jannali, also in the Shire, attended the local primary school, and completed his schooling at Scots College, where he became a School Prefect and a Cadet Under Officer in the Cadet Unit. On leaving school Warwick completed a course in graphic design and went to work in an advertising agency. Always entrepreneurial he became a restaurateur, then turned his hand to furniture design, before turning to the medal business. Warwick had always been a collector of something, but it was his love of medals that launched a whole new career for him and for which he is best known.
Warwick is well remembered for the superlative medals and groups that have, over the years, formed part of his collection. At O.M.R.S. gatherings he would nonchalantly put a medal or group on the table and say something like “this bloke was killed in the charge of the Light Brigade” or “this chap was with Churchill at Omdurman and got the D.C.M.” However, as he was fond of saying, “we’re only temporary custodians” and it is now fitting that his collection is to be passed onto the next generation.
Aside from medals, Warwick joined the New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) in 1982, and was appointed to be the Service’s inaugural State Protocol Officer on 29 June 2001. His commitment to the community saw him awarded the Centenary Medal (2001), the NSW SES Director General’s Commendation for Service (2004), a NSW SES Director General’s Unit Citation (2006), a NSW SES Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation (2016), and the Emergency Services Medal (2008). In addition, Warwick was the City of Kogarah’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 and was awarded the Scott Morrison Cook Community Medal by the future Prime Minister in 2016. He led his unit through many local emergencies, including various storms, floods, and bush- fires. He also provided significant leadership in many major operations throughout the state, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics. As a founding member of the NSW SES Volunteers Association in February 1999, he was honoured with Life Membership on 18 May 2007, and Life Membership of the NSW SES on 28 January 2020. He died on 16 April 2020.
Despite all his achievements Warwick will best be remembered by his fellow collectors as a “great bloke”, one who would go out of his way to assist in any way he could. He always shared his expertise and constantly contributed to the collecting fraternity with his knowledge and fellowship. His knowledge of order of wear or matters of protocol meant he received many phone calls including calls from Government House, the Prime Minister's Office and Premier and Cabinet. He was always calm, even tempered and ready to help. We have certainly lost a true gentleman and he has left a void which will be impossible to fill. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and is survived by his children, Esther and Matt, and five grandchildren.
John Burridge, M.G.