Derithe Harrison’s father served in WWI in the army. He died on May 14, 1942, and she was born the following January. In 1947, she went to her first Melbourne Legacy’s girls’ classes and speech training on a Friday night.
“This is where I met the wonderful Legatees who did so much for Legacy families,” Bundoora resident Derithe says. “We used to call them our ‘Friday Night Dads’ because they were there for us when we needed them – replacing the dads we didn’t have. I thoroughly enjoyed attending these classes and did so for more than 20 years.
“When I needed help getting a job, I was fortunate enough to have a particular Legatee Phillip Schofield take an interest in my welfare and he employed me in his branch of the ANZ Bank.
“He was always there for me with advice, support and general interest in my wellbeing. I kept in contact with him and his wife Violet until they passed away.”
Legacy also assisted Derithe’s family with her education and holidays away at various camps.
“I can remember so many great outings, such as the Christmas parties at Government House, Operation Float and Luna Park. These experiences were very special and much appreciated.”
“Legatees since August 2001, Ian and I support four dependents with a disability and visit them regularly. And I’m delighted to chair the Epping Legacy Widows’ committee.”
Legacy, celebrating 95 years of caring for veterans’ families in need, is well known for the thousands of lives it has supported with friendship and compassion.
Legacy is the only not-for-profit that cares solely for the families of veterans who have given their life or health for their country. Today, Legacy cares for 60,000 families nationally including children; widows and widowers, many in their 80s and 90s; people with a disability; and an increasing number of young families of veterans from more recent conflicts and service facing the trauma of psychological and physical injuries.
At a time when all hope may seem lost, Legacy is there to help a family or individual through the tough times and restore their confidence in the future.
“The hallmark of our services is the care and compassion that our volunteers, known as Legatees, have for Legacy families,” Melbourne Legacy President Hugh Roberton says.
“Legatees do welfare checks through visits or calls, along with a small team of staff. Advice and support is just a phone call away.”
Services include relief from financial hardship, advice and referrals to counselling, assistance with children’s education and development, encouraging supportive friendships and positive ageing and advocating for entitlements and services.
On behalf of all Australians, Legacy ensures that veterans’ families facing adversity never stand alone.
During Legacy Week, September 2-8, hundreds of volunteers will be in the community selling Legacy badges and bears to raise funds.
Gratefully received donations can be made online at legacyweekappeal.com.au or call 1800 534 229.