Bundaberg Legacy is celebrating a remarkable milestone as it commemorates its 75th anniversary of supporting families of local veterans.
Founded in 1948, Bundaberg Legacy has played a vital role in preserving the legacies of those who served Australia by helping their loved ones.
Bundaberg Legacy Inc President Len Gordon said this unwavering commitment to the welfare of local veterans' families has had a lasting impact on the community.
“Bundaberg Legacy itself was formed on the 5 November 1948 initially as part of a nationwide effort to look after the families of veterans who had given their life in the defence of Australia.
“In the following years it was recognised that this support should be extended to cover veterans who have given their health.”
Bundaberg Legacy holds a special place in Len’s heart
“My four brothers and one sister were Legacy wards in the 60s when my father passed away,” he said.
“I served 34 years in the Australian Defence Force and have taken the opportunity to pay back [the] help that was provided to us in our time of need.
“The number of beneficiaries that Bundaberg Legacy has provided support to over the years has declined from the thousands to hundreds due to the age of the beneficiaries.
“It is anticipated that it will further reduce to about two hundred or so if Bundaberg maintains its preference as a retirement area for veterans.
“Legacy will always remain relevant due to the need of a defence force and the identified gaps in other programs that veterans and their families use.”
Bundaberg Legacy officially celebrated its 75th birthday this month with plans in place to recognise the milestone throughout 2024.
“We look forward to functions throughout our 75th year to recognise the needs of the beneficiaries we support, and the efforts … volunteers and Legatees undertake to provide this support,” Len said.
“The concert we have in place for March 17 was initially to take place on the weekend of the birthday but was postponed.”
Len said Bundaberg Legacy was always looking for new Legatees and volunteers to assist in the local program and veterans were also invited to stop in and have a chat and coffee.
“We work together with the other ex-service organisations, such as the RSL Sub branches in our area and the Veterans Drop In Centre, in Bundaberg to provide support to the veteran community and we are in the process of strengthening our ties with the general Bundaberg community which we do initially through the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre,” he said.
The beginning of Legacy 100 years ago
Some 60,000 Australian service personnel were killed and more than 150,000 were wounded, many dying soon after.
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.
Originally, it was returned servicemen who took this duty of caring for and supporting widows and children. They later became known as Legatees.
To this day, it is the Legatees who volunteer the support that Legacy provides to its beneficiaries.
Bundaberg Legacy 75th anniversary concert
When: 17 March 2.30 pm
Where: Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
For more information: Click here
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