Leave a legacy on Remembrance Day
GAYNDAH widow Phyllis McGilvery said Craig Fothergill was like a “third son” to her.
He had never let her down or refused a request, she said.
They had always been close but, in May last year, when Mrs McGilvery lost her husband Keith, a former serviceman, they became even closer, when Mr Fothergill became her ‘Legatee’.
Legatees are support worker volunteers for Legacy, a charity providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service.
However, Mrs McGilvery was already familiar with the important work they do – Keith was involved in the organisation from 1988 – 2004.
For the past 11 years, Mr Fothergill has provided support for widows like Mrs McGilvery in Gayndah, Mundubbera and Eidsvold and is one of three North Burnett Legatees – the other two are in Monto.
“If I can fix a problem (for them), I’ll fix it,” Mr Fothergill, who saw active service in Vietnam, said.
He takes his group of about 16 out for a monthly lunch.
“It’s where I catch up on all my local gossip,” Mr Fothergill said.
However, where once there were Legatees in most towns across the Burnett, now there are only seven scattered across the whole Burnett.
Mr Fothergill said the most notable gap was in Kingaroy, which hadn’t had a Legatee in about 18 months, despite having more than 20 widows.
Mundubbera’s Legatee also had to resign his post about three months ago due to illness, which is why Mr Fothergill’s coverage area is so wide.
There are 93 widows across the Burnett.
This year, Legacy is encouraging the community to ‘Do More Than Remember’ and support families left behind in the lead up to November 11.
The public are invited to dedicate a poppy in Legacy’s virtual poppy field at domore.org.au from now until November 11, alongside a special message of remembrance for past and present service men and women.
Dedications to the virtual poppy field can be made for as little as $2 (tax-deductible) and allow people to support the work undertaken by Legacy, which impacts the lives of more than 52,000 families across Australia in times of grief and financial hardship – providing social, financial and developmental support.