A penny for your thoughts, Ian

Trash before treasure

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 03/06/2014
timaru chalmers treasure ian curtis
AUDREY MALONE/Fairfax NZ
TREASURE HUNT: Ian Curtis found a 1907 penny at Chalmers Church when out with his metal detector yesterday.

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A Timaru man looks for treasure as a hobby and found some yesterday outside Chalmers Church.

About seven years ago Ian Curtis bought a metal detector to look for gold in his spare time.

Yesterday, he found a 1907 bronze penny in the grounds outside Chalmers Church. He also found a door knob and a clump of lead.

"You have to go through a lot of trash before you get to treasure," Curtis said.

He is a fitter-turner by trade and studied under Dean van Buuren, the new owner of the iconic Timaru building.

Although he had been planning to ask van Buuren if he could take his metal detector around the grounds to search for local history, it was by chance Curtis saw van Buuren outside removing the perspex from the stained glass yesterday.

It was Curtis' lucky day to go hunting. He said that in his time metal detecting the best thing he found was a small silver bell from the Italian island of San Michele.

The significance was that it would have been a good luck charm a soldier had picked up as a souvenir. He also found an unfired .45 calibre pistol bullet which he thought was another piece of war memorabilia.

The rule Curtis abides by is to leave the ground as he found it.

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- The Timaru Herald

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