Warwick's support for military families

SERVICE: Local Legacy members Glyn Rees, Jim Domjahn, Ian Campbell-Wlison, Brisbane Legacy CEO Brendan Cox, Roy Egginton and Gordon Nielsen.
SERVICE: Local Legacy members Glyn Rees, Jim Domjahn, Ian Campbell-Wlison, Brisbane Legacy CEO Brendan Cox, Roy Egginton and Gordon Nielsen. Jonno Colfs

IT'S a story that begins one hundred years ago.

ON the brutal and bloody battlefields of Pozieres in France in 1916, a dying soldier turned to his mate and whispered, 'look after my missus and kids'.

From there, Legacy, an organisation unique to Australia was born in 1923.

The Warwick and District Legacy Contact Group, part of Brisbane Legacy, is a group of men and women who assist in looking after the families of our fallen and incapacitated service personnel.

Brisbane Legacy CEO Brendan Cox said Legacy worked with 80,000 dependent widows and families of veterans from World War II through to Afghanistan.

"Our vision is that those families don't suffer any social financial disadvantage due to their loss," he said.

"The people who have delivered upon that promise since 1923 are called Legatees, they are all volunteers, have a strong spirit of service and whose main essential is personal effort."

The secretary of Warwick Legacy Gordon Nielsen said there were 101 dependents on the books in the Warwick area, which also encapsulates Allora and Killarney.

"They are the only ones we know about though, there are probably a lot more and some who work with organisations like War Widows for example," he said.

"We not only look after the families of people who have seen active service, but also of anyone who has served and been killed or incapacitated."

Mr Nielsen said the Legatees are there to support.

"If they have problems, be it needing advice or advocacy support, helping with pension submissions, financial and emotional support or even home maintenance, particularly if they have no family, we try to assist.

"We act as a kind of concerned family member and either arrange for the support to be provided or refer them to an organisation that can provide the support.

"If anyone comes to us with a problem, we'll do anything we can to provide a favourable outcome."

Mr Nielsen said a lot of the dependents he has seen just want someone to talk to.

"Loneliness is a big problem, the absence of social interaction," he said.

" A lot of the people we see are in their senior years and mobility can be difficult, so a friendly face at the door or on the phone can be a huge help, we try to prevent social isolation where we can."

Legacy relies completely on community support, to help out please phone Legacy on 1800534229.

Topics:  history, legacy, war, war widows

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