|Albury Legacy was formed early in the movements history and came about from a meeting in the George Hotel Albury on the 11 May 1932 in which 7 men resolved to form a Legacy Club and set about recruiting the required 20 men.|
A second meeting on 25 May 1932 saw 16 men attend with two apologies. This meeting confirmed the desire for Albury and District to have its own Legacy Club and set a joining fee of 5/- plus a monthly subscription of 1/- thereafter.
The next meeting on 8 June 1932 saw the required 20 men enrolled, a charter was applied for and on the 6 August 1932 at a Dinner hosted by Melbourne Legacy the “Legacy Club of Albury” was formed and took on as its area of responsibility, the towns and their respective shires, from Khancoban & Corryong in the east down both sides of the Murray to Rutherglen and Corowa in the west, Mt Beauty and Beechworth to the south and Holbrook and Henty to the north.
It should be pointed out here that each club is wholly autonomous in its administration, fund raising, services provided and methods of providing those services but work together with other Legacy Clubs under a common charter and a peak organising body called “Legacy Australia Council” to promote and protect the common goal of support for the widows and dependants of our deceased comrades in arms.
|Legacy receives limited financial support from State and Federal Government and relies predominantly on the generosity of the public to fund its work.|
In its formative years Albury Legacy held its fortnightly dinners in the Railway Refreshment Rooms on Albury Station. Its office was the office of whoever was the Secretary of the day and therefore moved with regular monotony up and down Dean St. Meetings were held in the homes of various legatees. One home regularly used was that of the late Legatee Colley in Olive Street, which is today Legacy House. This house was purchased in 1967 from the Colley estate with money generously donated for the purpose by the late Fred Sammons who fought with the 4th Light Horse during WW1 and took part in that famous charge by the Light Horse at Beersheba.
Other places that hosted Albury Legacy until 1954 were:
Malcolm’s Dining Room in Kiewa Street
Miss Crawford’s Tea Rooms
Liberty In Café, and
|In 1954 an agreement was reached with the Albury RSL and office space and meeting facilities were obtained in the old Anzac House in Dean Street. Legacy at long last had a permanent home that was to serve the club well until as previously mentioned in 1967 we finally purchased our own premises.|
Membership of Albury Legacy and the widows and dependants we served were fairly static between the wars. An aside in our official history puts this down to the fact that despite the horrific loss of life during WW1 widows and dependants were small in number due to the voluntary nature of war service and the fact that the volunteers who answered the call were predominantly young 18 – 20 yo single men.
|To demonstrate the steady growth and changing needs of those with whom Legacy works the following statistics may be useful:|
|As you can see from these figures we have gone from looking after young widows with school age families to looking after predominantly older women with grown up families.|
|Of our widows today 8 are over 100, 248 are aged from 90 to 99, 525 are aged 76 to 89, 93 are aged 50 to 75 and 6 are under 50. |
In total we have enrolled 7 new children in the last 12 months to give us a total of 15 children aged from 15 months through to 20 years with eight of this number under 12.
In February of 2001 Albury Legacy enrolled its first widow of a veteran from the East Timor conflict, a 35 year old lady with two little girls aged 9 & 4.
The recent conflicts of East Timor, Afghanistan & the Gulf Wars have seen the deployment of our permanent defence forces, many of whom are married with young families. Thankfully there have been few casualties in these conflicts but no doubt as history suggests a fair percentage of these veterans will succumb to illness and early deaths due to the privations and trauma of their service. Legacy will again rise to the challenge of supporting more young widows and their children as in times past. This Club is positioned close to large Military Garrisons at Bandiana and Bonegilla, many of our Legatees at some time served at these Garrisons. Many service personnel at these Garrisons have seen overseas service and it is expected that Legacy Services will be called upon in future years.
|In all this there has been no mention of what Legacy does other than to state that it provides support for the widows and dependants of deceased veterans. This may seem rather vague but the needs of our widows dictate the assistance and advice we offer and it can range from:|
• Personal Counselling
• Social and recreational activities
• Assistance in gaining pension entitlements
• Assistance with the upbringing and education of children
• Holiday camps for dependants
• Help with welfare matters
• Help with Legal and financial issues
• Financial assistance in necessitous cases.
Some anecdotes from the Albury Clubs history, will demonstrate Legacy’s worth in the community and its commitment to those under its care.
|1. In 1933 Albury Legacy held its first Christmas party for widows and dependants in Mates Lounge and have held a Christmas Party every year since, although these days in deference to the age of our widows, it is now a series of parties at Albury, Corryong, Tallangatta, Beechworth, Mt Beauty, Corowa & Holbrook to save long journeys by bus.|
2. Again in 1933 Albury Legacy placed 45 of its wards in employment. This at the height of the depression would have been an outstanding feat. In 2000 we arranged an apprenticeship for one of our wards at the Paper Mill. In 2004 a former ward on the dole was assisted to complete a traineeship which led to permanent work in Wodonga and again that year another ward was helped to complete a pre apprenticeship course and is now apprenticed within the hospitality industry at Wangaratta.
3. In 1935 we received word from Sydney Police that they had one of our wards in custody. He had walked from Albury to Sydney trying to obtain work to no avail, was destitute and had nowhere to stay. A phone call to Sydney Legacy and by days end this young man had a place to stay and money in his pocket. By weeks end a job had been arranged. In 2001 a destitute widow turned up on our doorstep. She had survived for many years as an itinerant fruit picker but was to old and ill to work anymore. Accommodation was found, medical tests and consultations organised and essential clothing, blankets etc. arranged. Contact was re established with the widows family and she is now living close to family in a retirement hostel run by Gosford Legacy with a war widows pension, a gold card and all entitlements for which she is eligible.
|4. In 1936 it was decided that all wards of Legacy would receive a Christmas gift to the value of 3/-. With adjustment for inflation this has continued to this day and now each year all wards receive both a birthday and Christmas gift and all widows receive a Legacy Christmas pudding.|
5. Again in 1936 Albury Legacy raised $10/10/- to purchase wooden legs for a Legacy Ward who had lost his limbs in an accident. Today no widow or ward is denied medical treatment or prosthetic appliances through lack of funds. Legacy with generous support from the medical fraternity will arrange required treatment, claim all available rebates and in need cover any shortfall.
6. In 1937 Albury Legacy raised $13/-/- to pay the funeral expenses of a ward whose mother could not afford the cost and whose stepfather would not pay for the funeral. In 2001 Legacy underwrote the funeral expenses of a widow in needy circumstances until such times as her personal effects could be sold to cover the funeral expense and then made up a modest shortfall. Again in 2005 we provided a loan for a widow to bury her adult son until family could rally around and meet the expense. No widow or ward of Albury Legacy will go to a pauper’s grave.
|7. In 1946 a young Legacy ward completed the Leaving Certificate (HSC) with first class honours receiving the top mark for NSW in 2 subjects and a 4th in another. She dearly wanted to go to university in an era when one had to pay for a university education and young women were low on the priority list for placement. Needless to say she became the first of many wards Albury Legacy has assisted in tertiary studies. Today we have one young lady at university in Wagga, two studying at TAFE and we provide local support and supervision for any Legacy ward from other Legacy Clubs studying at Charles Sturt University. I might add here that these young people are expected to and assisted to find part time work to meet their personal expenses and Legacy only assists with accommodation and education costs. Ongoing support is subject to satisfactory marks and their tutor’s recommendations so it is not an easy way of going to uni and enjoying the high life.|
|8. Legacy Wards have always been an integral part of the Legacy Family and throughout the 50’s 60’s and 70’s “picture days”, day trips and picnics were monthly occurrences and interspersed with health check days and dental check days. We also sent our kids to Melbourne each year to be billeted by Melbourne Legacy and to experience life in the big smoke. Melbourne Legacy wards would then come up to Albury be paired up with our kids and turned loose on the Army for 10 days – living in tents and being fed from field kitchens. |
|9. With diminishing numbers since the late 70’s and it no longer being viable to arrange our own camps our wards have been joining with Legacy Wards from all over Eastern Australia at Wollongong each Christmas Holiday for 10 days by the sea. Albury Legacy also sends two Legatees to this camp to help out and chaperone not only our own but wards from Wagga, Tumut, Cootamundra and Goulburn on the train both there and back. Albury wards have excelled themselves at these camps and one of our former wards still attends the camp each year as a Camp Leader. From last years camp two of our wards were selected to represent Victoria and NSW Legacy at the National Anzac Day Celebrations in Canberra under the auspices of the Florence Foundation. One together with a boy from Sydney laid the Legacy wreath at the National War Memorial on Anzac Day and the other laid a wreath on the Tomb of the unknown Soldier when the group visit the War Memorial and Museum prior to Anzac day. Subject to satisfactory school reports and community involvement each ward on completion of high school and prior to commencing university or an apprenticeship is offered a place on the Young Endeavour for a 10 day voyage of discovery. |
The Albury Clubs files are littered with many and varied anecdotes of our work, all individual and all in response to the needs of the individual but hopefully the above give you some idea of Legacy’s unique position in the community, its ongoing work and the need to keep Legacy alive and well into the 21st Century.
Albury Legacy has been and will continue to be the implement to make these things happen but without the continued generosity and support of all the local communities that make up Albury/Wodonga and its surrounds none of this would have happened.
|In recent times Legacy and its future have come to the fore. Legacy now extends support to the widows and children of Defence personnel killed while training for war and on hazardous duty. The 1996 Black Hawk crashes in Queensland is an example of “training for war” and the RAN helicopter crash in Aceh, Indonesia several years ago as “hazardous duty” – These tragedies have left widows, widowers and children without a husband, a wife, a mother, a father; they are all now in Legacy’s care.|
With Australian Defence Forces being constantly deployed on operational service with peacemaking and peacekeeping forces all those young men and women’s spouses and children will look to Legacy for support should they pay the ultimate sacrifice either in the field or subsequently from war related illnesses and injuries.
The Spirit of Legacy lives on. Thank you in your support of Albury Legacy and its work.