Sale 128 Biographies

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

John F. Yarwood



After completing his education and starting work as a young man, John developed an interest in numismatics which turned into a lifelong pursuit of research, collecting and publication. He conducted research on a range of topics, including before the internet, where writing to Central Banks or other collectors around the world via type-written letters was the only option. Despite the challenges of finding information, particularly while based in Australia, he persistently pursued answers either for himself or other collectors.


At some point an interest developed in tokens and payments used by military forces around the world, with a specific interest in the British Armed Forces and the NAAFI. This interest in British and Commonwealth payments was possibly from being born in Wales and his father’s service in WWII. In starting his collection and research, he discovered that there was little reference material available regarding these types of payments and set out to change this. Writing several publications about payments from the British Commonwealth, along with Canadian and Australian chits soon became a significant part of his time, particularly in retirement.


Throughout his life, John enjoyed engaging with fellow collectors either by letter (and later email) or at numismatics meetings/shows, with many of those people becoming valued friends or collaborators in his writing.


John’s family hope that these publications can continue to be of benefit to collectors, auction houses and researchers for years to come.



Dr Lawrence J. Sherwin


Lawrence “Lawrie” Sherwin passed away unexpectedly at his home in Orange NSW on the 31st of May.  He enjoyed a lifelong career in geology after completing a cadetship with the NSW Department of Mines and his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney. He worked first as a Technical Assistant and then as a Palaeontologist at the Geological & Mining Museum at 36 George St, Sydney since his appointment in 1966. When the Museum’s research functions started Lawrie took up the position of Senior Geologist in the Regional Mapping Section in the Geological Survey of New South Wales and came to the Orange Office in that capacity in 1990. He made and contributed to numerous geological maps and produced well over 200 published and unpublished research papers. Lawrie attended numerous overseas conferences and participated in a number of foreign missions, including one with the Russian Geological Survey in St Petersburg, and another in Mongolia. He received his PhD from Macquarie University in 1991.


Outside of his career, Lawrie was devoted to many causes. He used to be a councillor of the Public Service Association of NSW, a union that had 30,000 members. He was awarded a gold medal by the P.S.A. for his services. He was also a member of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, the prestigious Royal Society of New South Wales and the Geological Society of Australia. Lawrie was also president of the St Mary’s Conference of St Vincent de Paul in Orange. He had been an active member of Vinnies since he was only 17 years old. Although he officially retired in 2005, Lawrie had been conducting Astronomy classes once a month for the Orange University of the Third Age (U3A) as well as filling in for Geology. Astronomy involved night-time star-gazing sessions for U3A from his home in Clifton Grove. It was his other hobby. He was also an accomplished pilot of small planes. He flew numerous survey flights around NSW and Australia and even flew a light plane across the Unites States from west to east in the 1960s.


Lawrie was recognised in Australia and overseas for his work and passion in numismatics. He was an expert on a whole range of early Middle Eastern coinages and amassed a substantial collection. His expertise was such that he had even been mistaken for a professional numismatist, rather than a hobbyist. He was a Life Member of the Australian Numismatic Society (NSW Branch) and a member of the Orange Coin & Stamp Club. He had been treasurer and for more than 10 years had been assistant secretary and was a regular contributor to the Orange Coin & Stamp Club Newsletter. He is survived by his wife, Katie.

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