Coming off Yass local John Heggart’s run through Canberra to raise support for 2023’s Legacy Week Centennial Commemoration, Legacy members, Yass RSL members, Veterans and Yass Valley residents gathered at the Yass Memorial Hall on the morning of Friday the 1st of September at 10 am. They attended the Centenary Commemoration Service for Legacy. The service not only paid respects to those who lost their lives in conflicts but to the families and widows who have had to carry that burden since and to those who have extended that support, with Legacy noting the soldiers’ promise to “look after the missus and kids” of their fallen friends. 


The service included a torch relay, a wreath-laying ceremony, speeches from Legacy members, also known as ‘Legatees’, choir performances, and a dedication of the Memorial Plaque, before attendees joined in the adjoining hall for morning tea.


In 1923, Legacy made the promise to help families carry on with their lives after the loss or injury of a loved one. Returning servicemen honoured that promise, volunteering to serve the families impacted by war. A century later, Legacy continues to do so, with Legacy supporting 40,000 partners or children of veterans with 44 active clubs, including the joint Yass-Boorowa group. 


Representatives from the community, including Mayor Allan McGrath and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman were present, as well as representatives from schools including Mt. Carmel Public School and Yass High School, with the latter acting as torchbearers for the Legacy Torch Centenary Torch Relay and conducting a Welcome to Country. 


“I particularly thought that the involvement from Yass High School in presenting the torch and also the Welcome to Country that they did a very good job, and did their school proud. Having Mt. Carmel also in attendance indicated the interest the juniors hold as well. I was very happy with how it turned out”, said Vice President and organiser of the service John Heggart.

Beginning with a welcome from John Heggart, as well as the arrival of the Legacy torch and Welcome to Country from Yass High School, the service involved Choir performances from Maisie’s Choir, followed by a Chairman’s Address from Legatee Bob Richardson, as well as Dedication of the Memorial Plaque from Wendy Tuckerman, a Commemoration from Andrew Stackpool, before a wreath-laying was conducted by Legacy Widow Sarah McGrath, followed by a second wreath from Wendy Tuckerman. 


The service was concluded with the Legacy Ode, followed by the Last Post and a minute’s silence, before wrapping up with the National Anthem. 


On his feelings towards the service, John felt the service showed strong community involvement, and is hopeful that Legacy’s future will continue to see a strong connection to the community in its continual providing of service.


 “I thought it was great, it met our expectations and I thought there was good community involvement which was pleasing in recognising the work that Legacy does and commemorating the 100th anniversary”, said John.


“I think that Legacy has always been well supported throughout the community” — “That involvement remains today and this was, in some way, a recognition of that ongoing support, as well as a commemoration of the place Legacy has. We anticipate that will continue. We need to maintain the support we have in the past provided and will continue to do so in the future”


The Yass-Boorowa Legacy Group supports 50 widows of deceased service personnel, as well as the dependents of war widows. 


The Yass-Boorowa Legacy Group would like to thank the support provided by Maisie’s Choir, Mr Edward Alley, Yass High School, Mt. Carmel School, Yass Apex Homes, Yass Rotary, Yass Valley Council and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman. 


Griffin Palen