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A garden party with a great Legacy

Monday, 29th October, 2018

Legacy Widows and Carers (from left) Pat Donohue, Margaret, Meredith Wyles (local President), Beryl Broomhall and Betty O’Callaghan, with (at front, from left) Edna Stellini and Nancy Neinaber. PICTURE: Supplied Legacy Widows and Carers (from left) Pat Donohue, Margaret, Meredith Wyles (local President), Beryl Broomhall and Betty O’Callaghan, with (at front, from left) Edna Stellini and Nancy Neinaber. PICTURE: Supplied

By Callum Marshall

Broken Hill’s Legacy Widows and Carers visited Government House in Adelaide this month for the organisation’s 90th Anniversary Garden Party. 

While there they got to chat to other widows and carers across the organisation, with the Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le and his wife also in attendance.

There were war songs sung, stories shared and high tea for everyone to enjoy, said local Legacy carer Pat Donohue. 

“The ladies thoroughly enjoyed it. They thought it was fantastic and had a lovely time,” she said.

“One of ladies, Edna, had her 95th birthday on the day as well so she enjoyed every little bit of it.

“The South Australia and Broken Hill Legacy president Meredith Wyles (also) came. We all sat down and had a great weekend down there.”

The Legacy organisation was set up in 1923 by ex-servicemen of the Great War so that widows, partners and children would be properly cared for and looked after. 

Part of the Charter of Legacy states that, “safeguarding the interests of dependants, especially children, is a service worth rendering. Personal effort is the main essential.

“Inasmuch as these are the activities of Legacy, it is our privilege to accept the legacy of the fallen”

Pat wanted to thank the efforts of the local men within the organisation, the Legatees, for organising the trip and paying for it as well. 

“Mark Winen pushed for us to go to the Garden Party and Legatee Paul Keating was the one who arranged for us to go there and come back. 

“The Legatees actually paid for our accommodation, flights, taxi fares and things like that.”

Pat’s husband Trevor, himself a fellow Legatee, described what role they played within the organisation.

“What the Legatees do for the war widows is provide help such as transporting them to functions that we organise,” he said.

“We’ve got units over in Shorty O’Neill Village that we rent out to the widows to help them out.

“So if their rent stays three hundred bucks they’re only charged half the price to make it easier for them.

“We’ve got two children now we’re looking after and we bought computers for them the other day, about six hundred dollars each. 

“There was also a lady who wanted a ramp put in her yard and we did that. So she paid for it (initially) but by bringing it back to us we could pay her back.”

Trevor said a lot of fundraising was key to making sure the widows and children were properly looked after. 

“There’s a lot of fundraising on our behalf. All the committee members raise money and then also we get money from organisations around Broken Hill,” he said.

“We had a Poppy Day or Pin Day last month, selling those and dolls to raise money. That goes towards helping these people out too.

“We do a lot of things to raise money and help people out, such as barbecues, selling badges and all that.

“Last year we raised about seven thousand dollars.”

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