Legacy Torch Shines Bright

By Di Sneddon

“We will look after the Mrs and the Kids.”

It was a promise made in the shrapnel-lashed trenches of the Western Front.

Offering comfort to their wounded mate Private Leslie John Hallifax and Private Frederick William Muller reassured their dying mate to not worry.  They promised to look after his family.

That promise was made 100 years ago and during the 100th anniversary of Legacy, it has become a solemn promise that continues to be the basis of all the work the organisation continues to do for families of the fallen.

Focus of this significant milestone centred on Singleton on Monday when the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay came to town.

The Relay is a six-month campaign to pay homage to and acknowledge veterans’ families, saluting their sacrifice.

The torch’s journey began on Anzac Day this year in Posieres in France and has since travelled to London and is now in Australia.  The journey will see the torch travel more than 50,000 kilometres through 100 stops, carried by approximately 1500 torch bearers and will conclude in Melbourne in October hoping to raise more than $10million to continue the important work of Legacy.

The event was officially launched on April 20 this year at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, the city in which Legacy was founded by Stan Savige.

Special guest for Monday’s the event was General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC (Retd) and his wife Lynne.

General Cosgrove was once commandant at the School of Infantry in Singleton and his dedication to the role saw him receive Freeman of the Shire.

“I am very honoured to have that distinction in this town,” he said.

Speaking fondly of Singleton, General Cosgrove said his first stop when arriving in town was the memorial in Burdekin Park.

“I wanted to return there, I looked through the names and many still resonate in the community, the vast names from World War 1, more names in World War 2, we think of the people who served, we talk about the fallen, the many men, women and comrades whose lives were lost but today we also think about the families that are left behind.

“I will look after the Mrs and the kids, that’s the promise of Legacy, a promise that continues as the work of Legacy goes on,” he said.

General Cosgrove will carry the torch for a short distance in Sydney.

Also speaking at the ceremony was Singleton Legacy Group vice president Warren Barnes said Singleton has 46 ladies and two wards of former Defence Force Veterans.

“We are proud to have interaction with them through our 21 Legatee contacts,” Mr Barnes said.

Legacy is one of Australia’s oldest and most trusted charities, providing personalised support and services to the families of veterans of the Australian Defence Force who have given their lives or health for their country.