The Legacy flame still burns bright.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
For 100 years its torch of service and sacrifice has passed from Legatee to Legatee to ensure the families of our Australian veterans are supported.
On Monday, Forbes took up a physical torch to represent its part in that, when the Legacy centenary torch relay was in town.
Legacy CEO Graham Boyd said in Forbes on Monday the relay was about remembering as well as fundraising.
"The ethos of Legacy was founded on mateship formed in the trenches of WWI," he said.
"It's a name that for 100 years has represented a huge responsibility literally bequeathed to the nation."
Today Legacy looks after both widows and widowers of service men and women, with 40,000 enrolled beneficiaries including 1200 children and youth and 1000 with long-term special needs.
They have the support of 3400 Legatees, plus thousands of other volunteers, not just financial but care and social support.
"Legacy's people have in love and mateship been there for tens and tens and tens of thousands of children and have been informal "loco parentis" to children to meet spiritual, emotion and material support when war has claimed lives and impacted families," Mr Boyd said.
The torch relay began in Pozieres, France, on April 23 this year and travelled to the Menin Gate in Belgium and to London, where it was lit in front of His Majesty the King, before returning to Australia.
It continues its journey through communities like Forbes, through the hands of some 1300 torch bearers supported by 1500 volunteers, to conclude in Melbourne in October.
Mr Boyd thanked the Australian Defence Force personnel supporting the relay, with Navy, Army and Air Force all represented, as well as the many locals who were part of it.
"Your commitment to honouring the Legacy centenary throughout this event will allow Legacy to keep the promise alive for the next 100 years," he said.
Neil Biddle, past president of Lachlan Legacy, said Lachlan Legacy dated back to 1946 and the work of Keith Hastings and Dick Turner.
They enrolled at least 30 families by 1947 and quickly grew to encompass the surrounding area including Parkes, Cowra, Grenfell, West Wyalong and Lake Cargelligo.
A formal inauguration dinner was held in Forbes Town Hall in 1949.
Deborah Murphy's late husband Paul Murphy was one of those founding Legatees and she shared her gratitude and his passion for the cause on Monday.
"To quote my late husband, to be a Legatee was a privilege, an honour, and a duty to be of service and to assist the women of children of those who served their country," she said.
Her fond memories included welcoming city children to the country for annual holidays.
"Thank you on behalf of all of us who Legacy continues to support today and in the future," Mrs Murphy said.
Legatee Martin Cunningham led the relay, walking from the eastern side of Camp Street Bridge around Lake Forbes.
The torch was carried around the Lake, down Lachlan Street, up to Harold Street to the Cenotaph, back to Lachlan Street, down Templar and around part of Rankin Street.
Each of our torch bearers - Martin Cunningham, Diana Morris, Michael Walker, Mayor Phyllis Miller, Pam Bellhouse, Margaret Simmonds, Frank Hanns and Helen Westwood - lit the torch of the next.
Our final torch bearer Paul Findley, with sister Judi and mum Di, carried the torch up Templar Street to light the cauldron at Club Forbes in a moving and joyful ceremony.
Torch bearers and special guests gathered inside the club for formal proceedings.
Mr Biddle unveiled a Centenary commemorative plaque to be placed at Club Forbes - where Legacy headquarters were for many years, near the RSL Sub Branch office.
Current Lachlan Legacy President Jenny Friend extended thanks to all involved in the local relay, paying particular tribute to Helen Westwood and the Forbes division Legatees. The late Maurie Westwood was heavily involved in the planning.
Mayor Phyllis Miller 0AM paid tribute to the Legatees who supported her family after her father passed away when she was just seven years old.
"Without Legacy I don't know how ends would have met in our household," she said.
"My Legatees, Mr Woods, Mr Weir and Mr Elliott were the nicest, most beautiful people."
Legacy CEO Mr Boyd presented a torch, to be kept in Forbes, to the Lachlan Legacy branch.
"At the end of the torch relay today Jenny (Friend) read from In Flanders Fields, "to you from failing hands we throw The torch ... the question is who will catch it?" he said.
"Legacy caught the torch of service and sacrifice and has a charter now that has been going for 100 years.
"This torch is representative of all of that."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.