Legacy marks milestone after battlefield promise

IPSWICH Legacy is celebrating a major milestone next month as it marks 90 years of supporting the families of veterans who have sacrificed either their life or health in service to this country.

A meeting under the chairmanship of the then-president of the Ipswich sub-branch of the Returned Sailor's Soldier's Airmen's Imperial League of Australia (RSSAILA), Mr H.N.C. Wyman resolved to form the Legacy Club of Ipswich.

On June 25, 1929, the foundation meeting was held. Mr W.F. Johnson was elected as president, Mr G.H. Nixon and Mr A. Cribb were vice-presidents.

Nationally, the first club was formed in Melbourne in 1923 by a group of young men who had served together in the AIF during World War I.

Initially, the club helped other former soldiers get into business. Two years later their objectives changed and Legacy began caring for the widows and children of their war-time comrades.

In the preceding six years, another 11 Legacy clubs around the nation would be formed. Ipswich Legacy was the 13th club to form with the impetus coming from a former Ballarat legatee, a bank manager who had transferred to Ipswich. Author Mark Lyons, in his book Legacy the first 50 years, outlines that all foundation members worked in Ipswich.

Three were clergymen, former padres, two were clerks in the railway while a further two worked in the large mail order and department store of Cribb and Foote.

Today, 90 years later, Ipswich Legacy continues to provide services to about 450 widows, many quite elderly and a number of children, the youngest only four.

"The Spirit of Legacy is Service" and while over those 90 years the services and support programs Legacy provides has changed, its promise made those nine decades ago hasn't.

That promise made on the battlefields of the Western Front to a dying Aussie Digger "to look after the missus and kids" remains today.

Legacy services are funded by the generosity of the Ipswich community.

Legacy receives no government funding or assistance to conduct its activities.

As part of Legacy's obligation of service, it funds various activities for the children such as helping with education costs, educational activities, attendance at youth camps nationally and many other important issues.

It's no wonder Ipswich Legacy is marking this milestone with a big celebration. On Friday, June 14, to honour its nine decades of service, Ipswich Legacy will hold an "After 5 Event" at Club Services Ipswich (CSI).

This event will be a major fundraiser for the club, with entertainment from the Australian Army Band Ensemble and an auction of original art works by local artists.

The biggest attraction of the evening will be the auction of a ride in a spectacular RAAF KC-3A MRTT Aircraft Simulator" at RAAF Base Amberley. This is an exceptional offering and can only be obtained by being at the function on the night and bidding for your chance to secure this valued prize.

Tickets to the Ipswich Legacy After 5 function at CSI costs $35 a head through www.eventbrite.com.au.

Please be advised that Eventbrite charge GST and booking fee on top of the cost of the ticket.

For more information, phone 0413 457 867.