Far North Queensland Legacy executive officer Rebecca Milliner threw out a challenge for more volunteers and support, as the organisation celebrated 100 years of service at a special ceremony in Cooktown on Friday 6 October.
Legacy was founded in 1923 to support veterans’ families after the loss or injury of their loved one, and today the organisation supports more than 40,000 Australians.
On Friday dignitaries, including Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott and RSL Far North District president Ken Willoughby, attended a public service in Anzac Park where a commemorative plaque was unveiled.
“Legacy has it’s roots entrenched in a battlefield promise from the trenches of the Western Front in World War One, a promise made from a soldier to his dying mate to look after the missus and kids,” Ms Milliner said.
“Back in Melbourne in 1923 Sir Stanley Savage established the first Legacy club – little did he know this act of compassion would echo through time, touching lives with the same intensity a century later.”
Ms Milliner said the organisation’s foundation was the men and women who volunteered as Legatees, out in the community supporting veteran’s families.
“Legatees are the backbone of our organisation, without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” she said.
“This plaque is not just a testament, it’s a pledge, cast in bronze, promising another century of support and compassion.
“Our promise to support the missus and kids is why we do what we do and with your support we’ll continue to keep this promise alive for the next century.”
Ms Milliner urged people to become Legacy legends, supporting the organisation’s dream of creating a Legacy house in Far North Queensland as a hub to support families.
“There are many ways you can help, from hosting a fundraiser to becoming a Legatee or buying a brick for the build,” she said.
Cr Scott congratulated the organisation on a century of service, and said he remembered his own father’s work as a Legatee.
“Legacy is very much a real thing, I remember visiting a lady’s house with two little kids who had lost their father,” he said.
“When I was about 13, we had a little girl come and stay with us, she was a Legacy child – this sort of work is absolutely essential to our Australian way of life and we all need to keep supporting volunteer organisations like this.”
Visit www.legacy.com.au for more information on the organisation.