John Heggart took to Canberra on the morning of Monday the 28th of August, representing the Yass and Boorowa region’s Legacy group in a Legacy torch run. The run, which covered a 22-kilometre track, marked the launch of Legacy Week, an annual event where legacy clubs around the country go on fundraising missions.
“It was an interesting morning, it was for the legacy torch relay, which has been going around the countryside to the legacy clubs to bring to people’s attention, what legacy is and what we do and to encourage people to donate is the bottom line I guess. Today it was Canberra’s turn, and I was elected to represent Yass Legacy in Canberra”, said John.
Starting at the Australian War Memorial, the 22-kilometre track took runners through the suburb of Campbell, past the Australian Defence College, then up towards Parliament House before arriving at Government House, where members and invitees were greeted by the Governor General.
“It’s been quite a significant occasion for Legacy in Canberra, and we as Yass Legacy are a part of that”, said John.
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023, presented by Defence Health started on 23 April 2023 in Pozières France.
After travelling through London, which is the only Legacy Club outside of Australia, the Torch will travel to all 44 Legacy Clubs in Australia.
Legacy Flame receives a royal welcome
Legacy was honoured to have His Majesty The King join the official start of the London leg of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay at Buckingham Palace. Legacy’s beneficiaries, veterans and volunteers from London Legacy were delighted to have the support of His Majesty in marking the 100th year.
Australian Victoria Cross recipient Daniel Keighran was also in attendance and presented His Majesty with a Legacy Centenary Commemorative Torch to thank him for the support.
Legacy, an Australian non-profit organisation, is principally about supporting the families and widows of ex-servicemen who lost their lives or face adverse health problems during or after service. The group was founded 100 years ago, with this week’s Legacy Week acting as a centennial celebration. Support includes monetary compensation for issues such as heating bills in summer, electricity bills in winter, medical expenses, and if dependent children are involved, activities and education support.
100 years of Keeping the Promise.
In the trenches of the Western Front during World War I, a soldier said to his dying mate “I’ll look after the missus and kids”. This became known as The Promise.
Realising the dire circumstances of the tens of thousands of veterans, widows and children left behind, those who returned set out to help them. In 1923, Major General Sir John Gellibrand formed the Remembrance Club in Hobart. Another returning soldier, Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige, was inspired to establish a similar club in Melbourne which was named Legacy.
In responding to the needs of families of veterans for 100 years, Legacy, in conjunction with the network of Legacy Clubs throughout regional and metropolitan Australia, stands proudly as the only veteran service organisation in Australia dedicated solely to the care and support of veterans’ families.
“We look after those widows who are in need and we acknowledge and make sure they get support”, said John,
Yass and Boorowa serve as a joint club, with about 17 members known as ‘Legatees’ supporting up to fifty widows at this time.
“It’s not just about monetary value, it’s also about going to visit them on a regular basis to make sure they’re okay and in many cases just give them a bit of company because a good majority of them are at that age now where they’re quite elderly”, described John.
“I find it very rewarding, as you not only get the opportunity to assist these widows, but you get to meet them, and some of the stories they tell, it’s good and I think they appreciate having someone they can talk to that they can relate to. It’s a rewarding organisation to be involved in”
Runs such as these serve as fundraisers for the not-for-profit organisation.
“We look to people’s generosity to give us some funds so that we can continue to provide that support”.
This Friday, the 1st of September, Yass Legacy will be holding a commemoration service for the centenary of the organisation, hosted at the Memorial Hall at 10:00am.