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Legacy needs next generation

NOSTALGIC: The Andrew Sisters Tribute Band performs at the Legacy Widows Christmas luncheon.
NOSTALGIC: The Andrew Sisters Tribute Band performs at the Legacy Widows Christmas luncheon.

BORN out of the chaos of the Great War, a group of ex-AIF servicemen got together to form an organisation to honour an "obligation of service" to those comrades who never returned.

It was this obligation that formed Legacy, which commenced its operations in Melbourne in 1923.

Since then, Legacy has spread to all states and today there are around fifty Legacy clubs operating in Australia with one in London, all providing services to the families of deceased and incapacitated service men and women.

The term 'Legacy' came from a paragraph of a speech made by a chap called Frank Selleck in Melbourne in 1923 when he said: "We have got to remember that in a way we survivors have received a Legacy to see that the ideals our comrades died fighting for, are maintained in Australia".

The founders of Legacy considered that the organisation would only have a very short lifespan, after all, the First World War was the war to end all wars.

They did not realise at the time just how wrong that view would be.

Since then Australian men and women have served in conflicts, peace-keeping operations and a multitude of other military operations throughout the world.

Of course the greatest conflict since the First World War was the Second World War, where thousands of Australians lost their lives or their health due to their military service.

In Ipswich, Legacy commenced its service of obligation to the families of deceased and incapacitated service personnel in 1929, and has continued this service ever since.

Almost 500 widows and 10 children are supported by Ipswich Legacy.

The support is provided by only 26 "Legatees" - many of whom are becoming elderly themselves.

There is a great need for more volunteers to become Legatees to help maintain this obligation of service to the families that rely on Legacy.

The annual Legacy Widows Christmas luncheon was held recently at the Ipswich Civic Centre.

About 200 people enjoyed a magnificent Christmas lunch, along with entertainment and a catch-up with friends - some of whom they hadn't seen since last Christmas.

Attendees also received a small Christmas gift, compliments of Legacy.

The audience was treated to some great entertainment by the famous "Andrew Sisters Tribute Band", which sang all the popular war-era songs.

Ipswich Legacy also manages a one-bedroom unit complex of eighteen units at Booval in which some of the Legacy widows reside.

These units are self-contained style living and there are currently three vacancies. Anyone who qualifies as a Legacy widow or widower will qualify to occupy one of these units.

The Obligation of Legacy is that of "Service".

For more information on Legacy phone 3281 9491during office hours on weekdays (except Wednesday), or email: iplegacy@bigpond.net.au.

Topics:  opinion senior matters wayne macdonnell


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