Legacy Centenary Torch Relay has begun in Pozières, France marking the start of a journey to celebrate 100 years since the Legacy promise was made.
CAPTION: Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite lights a legacy torch during the launch of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay at Pozieres British Cemetery, France. Story by Captain Kristen Cleland. Photo by Sergeant Oliver Carter.
The relay will have 1500 bearers carry the torch through 50 towns and cities, visiting all Legacy Australia clubs.
It will move from France via Belgium to London, before making its way to Albany in Western Australia.
Legacy Centenary Torch Relay ADF liaison officer Colonel Scott Clingan recited the Ode of Remembrance at the opening ceremony at the Pozières British Cemetery in France and said the significance of the ceremony was profound.
“The opening of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay in Pozières, France, was a truly special experience,” Colonel Clingan said.
“It was a fitting tribute where the first Legacy battlefield promise was made in World War I.
“Defence is proud to support the six-month torch relay, and to give back in honour of the 100 years that Legacy Australia has supported Defence families.”
Legacy supports more than 40,000 beneficiaries and more than 3400 volunteers around the country strive to ensure Legacy’s promise – to support the families of veterans who lost their lives or suffered as a result of their service – is kept.
Defence joins with Legacy in acknowledging veterans’ families and the many volunteers who have provided support over the past 100 years, and those who continue to do so.
Defence is providing planning and coordination assistance for the relay, as well as personnel to escort the torch bearers on this epic 55,000km journey across Australia.
Apart from the reading of the ode, the start of the relay included a torch-passing ceremony, the Last Post as well as the Australian and French national anthems.
“The ceremony provided a time to reflect, and look forward to the next 100 years of connecting Legacy Australia with Defence families in need,” Colonel Clingan said.
Defence’s support aims to highlight to communities the important work Legacy does assisting veterans’ families.
The services Legacy provides include medical, financial, developmental and social support.
Funds raised by Legacy through this event will help these essential services to continue.
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay will conclude its journey on 13 October at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, where Legacy was founded by Stan Savige.