In the ultimate expression of mateship, Legacy has cared for families of deceased veterans for 90 years. Sally Willoughby finds out more.
FOR nine decades soldiers on the front line have taken comfort in knowing their families would be cared for should something untoward happen to them.
Legacy, an organisation that supports families of deceased veterans, has its origins in the trenches of Gallipoli with the organisation officially named in 1923.
The Parramatta division, which encompasses Parramatta, Holroyd, The Hills, Blacktown and Auburn, has one of the highest proportions of people supported by Legacy.
The organisation is calling on new recruits — known as legatees — to act as support volunteers.
For Graeme Banks becoming a legatee was his way to say thank you for the support he was given by Legacy when his father, a World War II veteran, died in 1950.
"Legacy looked after me all through my high school years — they clothed me and paid for my school fees," Mr Banks, who was 11 when his father died, said.
"Becoming a legatee was a way for me to pay back the care I was given."
Mr Banks is the chairman of the Parramatta Division of Sydney Legacy.
When a widow or family is registered with Legacy they are allocated a legatee.
Mr Banks said Legacy provided a lifetime commitment to their clients' wellbeing.
Traditionally, legatees were ex-servicemen but Mr Banks said Legacy embraced all volunteers committed to maintaining its ideals.
September 1 to 7 is Legacy Week.
To become a legatee: 9686 3119 or 0427 201 541, legacy.com.au.
WHAT IS LEGACY?
LEGACY provides life-long support for families of deceased and incapacitated veterans.It provides emotional and financial support, mentoring and advocacy with financial assistance provided for children’s education, medical bills, dental and transport expenses, welfare and financial hardship assistance — this is co-ordinated by legatees.The organisation supports the needs of children with a disability for their lifetime.
*1500 Legacy clients/dependants in Parramatta division
*$20 donation takes a disabled veteran or elderly widow out for the day
*100,000 widows supported by Legacy nationwide
*1900 children or people with disabilities supported by Legacy nationwide