3 August 2023

Legacy relay torch arrives in Wagga, marking 100 years of service

| Jarryd Rowley
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Legacy Australia CEO Graham Boyd and Wagga Legacy president Doug Conkey welcomed the Legacy Centenary Torch to the Wagga RAAF base

Legacy Australia CEO Graham Boyd and Wagga Legacy president Doug Conkey welcomed the Legacy Centenary Torch to the Wagga RAAF base. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Beginning its journey in Pozieres, France on Anzac Day, the Legacy Centenary Torch has travelled halfway across the world to commemorate 100 years of Legacy.

Legacy is one of Australia’s oldest and most iconic charities, providing support for the widows and children of soldiers who have died in service of the Australian Defence Force.

The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay honours the history of both service men and women of the ADF while also paying homage to the work of Legacy.

Since 1923, hundreds of thousands of people have been supported by Legacy through financial assistance, social services and providing developmental opportunities.

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Legacy supports 40,000 people, with volunteers from around the country consistently checking in on widows and their families.

The torch travelled from France and through London before making its way to Perth. From there it went to Adelaide, up through the Northern Territory and now it’s heading down the east coast.

Legacy Australia CEO Graham Boyd said the intent of the relay was to remember the incredible service of Legacy volunteers over the past 100 years.

“It’s all about one promise to a dying mate in Pozieres in France in the Somme area,” Mr Boyd said.

“The promise was one soldier asking his friend to look after his missus and kids.

“Over the 100-year period that has obviously changed and now looking after men, women and children which now reflects the modern-day Defence Force.”

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The relay continues on Thursday 3 August, travelling from the Botanic Gardens on an 8 km trail before ending at the local Legacy building.

Wagga Wagga Legacy president Doug Conkey, who will be the final torch bearer of the Wagga leg, said it would be an honour to carry the torch for such a significant worldwide event.

“While being a celebration of the last 100 years, it’s also a way to raise awareness on veterans and defence issues in our community here and now,” Mr Conkey said.

“We have 340 widows and families that we support from places like Cootamundra, Temora and several places in between.

“This relay is quite a personal and meaningful experience for a lot of people. Legacy has supported a lot of people not only here in Wagga but across the country and will look to continue this service for another 100 years.”

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