A Waipukurau man who lost one of his father's World War II medals on Anzac Day has had the "priceless" medal returned to him.

Colin Brown, 80, was wearing all four war medals belonging to his late father, Tomihana Brown - a private with the 28th Maori Battalion's C Company who sailed to the Middle East with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force's 10th Reinforcements in July 1943 - when he attended Dawn Service in Waipukurau on Anzac Day.

Colin Brown, 80, and his daughter Taini Pakoti, holding a photo of his father Private Tomihana Brown and his three remaining war medals
Colin Brown, 80, and his daughter Taini Pakoti, holding a photo of his father Private Tomihana Brown and his three remaining war medals

Mr Brown was wearing a jacket and had his father's medals pinned to his chest. It was only later after he returned home and took off his jacket that he realised his father's New Zealand War Service Medal was missing.

His daughter, Taini Pakoti, was thrilled to report that, after the story appeared on the front page of the CHB Mail last week, a man contacted the family to say he had the medal in his possession.

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"We are just so, so grateful. After so much time, we didn't honestly think we would ever see it again," said Mrs Pakoti, who shed a tear or two when the man visited to hand over the medal to her father last Tuesday.

"Dad doesn't say much. He's very quiet but I could tell he was emotional.

"He had his head bowed and shook the man's hand and then they looked at each other and I thought, 'Hold on, we're having a moment here.'

"I wrapped my arms around him [the man] and got quite tearful, as you would," she said.

Mrs Pakoti said the man had been holding on to the medal for safekeeping to ensure it was returned to its rightful owners, but called her as soon as he saw the article.

"When he read the article he felt bad reading about how upset we were, but I can understand why he did that. We are just so grateful," she said.

Mrs Pakoti also shared the story of the missing medal on social media, and wanted to thank the CHB community for all the support.

"I had so many messages on Facebook and lots of elderly people ringing me to say how sorry they were and how they hoped we found the medal. It was just amazing."