Stolen gems ‘legacy’

BARB never let Ray into the kitchen. That was her domain and even if he was peeling and chopping vegetables, he would have to sit at the side counter.

Quick and cruel cancer took 80-year-old Barb Meyer a little more than a week ago.

On Saturday night, Mr Meyer cooked his first roast dinner without her in their retirement unit in Douglas Street, Rutherglen.

“I looked at the ceiling waiting to see if she’d tell me what to do,” he said.

Mr Meyer sat at the kitchen table yesterday afternoon with the photos, the snapshots of their 61 years of marriage, the eight children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

His voice cracks as he goes through the photos and his life with Barb. His pain cuts more deeply because his wife’s legacy was stolen.

Last Tuesday, as Mr Meyer was away preparing to bury his wife, thieves broke in and stole her treasured jewellery collection.

“She wanted to leave behind (the jewellery) for her children and great-grandchildren,” Mr Meyer said.

“That’s her heritage.”

The first piece of jewellery Mr Meyer bought Barb, other than her wedding and engagement rings, was a necklace with two figures hugging each other.

He had bought a newsagency in Creswick after leaving as circulation manager of Fairfax and he finally had enough money to spoil Barb.

“She never took it off,” he said.

Every Christmas, birthday and wedding anniversary Barb would get jewellery and was never seen without it.

Mr Meyer said he talked to The Border Mail only to get Barb’s jewellery back.

He walks down the hallway to their bedroom where chunks of wall in the walk-in wardrobe are missing after a safe was ripped out.

A neighbour noticed their front door was open on Wednesday morning and phoned police.

Mr Meyer arrived home to find boxes of clothes thrown across the floor and drawer after drawer pulled open.

It was the second burglary in Rutherglen that night.

Indigo councillor Don Chambers’ house in High Street was broken into and his late wife’s jewellery was stolen. Margaret Chambers died in September.

Wodonga detectives said at least $80,000 in jewellery and other valuables was stolen from the two homes.

Mr Meyer walks back to the kitchen where his nine-year-old schnauzer Jock is on the floor.

“He hasn’t found her and he’s been looking for a week,” Mr Meyer said.

Anyone with information should phone Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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