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Anderson sisters honour dad in Legacy relay

Brianna and Rachael Anderson, former Bundaberg residents, proudly walked the Legacy Centenery Relay torch through London and Bundaberg as a tribute for their Dad. Photos: Supplied

Bundaberg-raised sisters Rachael and Brianna Anderson have both honoured their father Rick as torchbearers in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay in London and Bundaberg earlier this year.

The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay is travelling around the world this year to commemorate 100 years of the organisation.

Established in 1923 Legacy Australia supports partners and children of veterans who gave their lives or health serving the country.

Legacy currently provides support to more than 40,000 families around Australia.

The torch’s journey began in Pozières France on 23 April then travelled to Menin Gate, Belgium and London.

Now in Australia the torch will undertake a six-month journey visiting all Legacy Club locations around the country, before culminating in Melbourne.

Brianna currently lives in the United Kingdom working as a paramedic and carried the torch in the London leg of the relay on 28 April.

Before the relay, Brianna and other torchbearers met with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, making the event all that more special.  

Though occupational therapist Rachael is based on the Sunshine Coast, she applied to be part of last Sunday’s Bundaberg leg of the relay.

Rachael Anderson participated in the Bundaberg leg of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay. Photo supplied.

Rachael and Brianna’s mother Margaret Anderson said their being part of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay was very special for the whole family.

“Bundaberg is her Legacy home,” she said, describing Rachael electing to participate in the local relay, joining other representatives from the region in honouring local families.  

“I was very proud, thrilled for them, because I knew both would be there honouring their dad.”

Their father Rick Anderson served in the Australian Army for 21 years and passed away in 2014.

The Anderson family became involved with the Bundaberg Legacy branch in 2007 when Rick’s condition declined and he entered a nursing home.

Legacy helped with schooling costs for Rachael and Brianna, who were then in grades 6 and 8, as well as providing opportunities to meet with other children at Legacy’s annual youth camp.

“When the girls would go on the yearly camps, they would be meeting other kids who had also lost their dad's, or their parent’s, health to military service,” Margaret said.

“Being over there with other kids each year, they forged friendships, and it gave them a fun time away.”

Brianna went on to be a Legacy Youth Ambassador while studying at university in Brisbane.

Margaret said having a family member in the military means that significant sacrifices are made.

“It’s nice to have Legacy there to support us,” she said.

“It’s very special, the support they provide is very important, they are all compassionate people.”

“Getting together and having that companionship, we have all lost someone.”

Despite her profound loss, Margaret couldn’t be prouder of her daughters’ ongoing involvement with Legacy.

“I was standing 10 feet taller with pride watching Rachael wearing her dad’s medals, which Brianna wore too, and being part of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.”

Brianna currently lives in the United Kingdom working as a paramedic and carried the torch in the London leg of the relay on 28 April. Photo: Supplied