Fifty Legatees and guests attended the Cobram-Yarrawonga Legacy Group’s annual changeover dinner at Club Mulwala last month.
The group this year marks 69 years of caring for war widows.
It currently has 143 war widows under its care.
Legacy Group membership was strengthened in 2017 by the induction of new Legatees Brian Bouchier and Geoff Pigdon of Yarrawonga, bringing the total to 22 Legatees (including three reserve) who continue to carry out the great work of Legacy.
Group secretary Brian Cossar received a standing ovation at the changeover dinner in recognition for receiving an OAM in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List.
Mr Cossar researched and delivered an interesting history of Cobram-Yarrawonga Legacy.
The Cobram Legacy Group was formed on May 14, 1949, as part of Melbourne Legacy.
Des O’Dwyer was the first chairman and he, along with Clem Basset-Smith, was a World War I veteran.
The area covered at the time extended from Strathmerton in the west to Yarrawonga in the east and south to a line compatible with the southern boundary of the Numurkah group.
Later the area extended into NSW to include Barooga and Tocumwal.
In later years, the Cobram-Yarrawonga group did not have the numbers of Legacy children to be cared for because of their increasing age into adulthood.
However, the group did assist families with school fees, clothing, dental and other types of expenses which were a burden to a young widow with children and no husband or father to care for them.
In 1992, two widows’ clubs were formed, one at Yarrawonga and one at Cobram.
Both are still active and continue to hold monthly meetings.
Bus outings seem to be a favourite and next month the widows’ clubs will hold a combined 26th birthday luncheon at Club Mulwala.
Fundraising has always been an important part of Legacy to ensure widows and families are provided for.
The group started off assisting 20 young families in 1949. That number rapidly grew and and in 2003 there were more than 300 war widows.
Today the group supports 143 war widows.
A lot of people and organisations assist Legacy with its fundraising activities and the group is forever grateful for the support it receives.
Cobram-Yarrawonga Legacy Group is proud of its history and the way it still responds to the needs of the widows under its care, and will continue well into the future to ensure that this voluntary work is carried out.
- Noel Loughnan