Launch of 'We Who Are Left to Grow Old' - Legacy Club of Brisbane
Representing the Premier, Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans Affairs, Trade and COVID Economic Recovery and Member for Aspley, Mr Bart Mellish MP; Legacy Brisbane President, Mr Paul Power, Vice-President, Dr Annabel McGuire and CEO, Mr Brendan Cox; Legacy Widows, staff, volunteers, writers and Editors, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
As Joint Patrons of the Legacy Club of Brisbane, Graeme and I are pleased and honoured to join you today to mark Legacy’s century of commitment to caring for the dependants of our fallen or incapacitated veterans, and to launch the wonderful collection of stories told by Brisbane widows.
That we are in the Kittyhawk Room of a Services Club on Kittyhawk Drive is a powerful reminder that armed conflict has, sadly, been part of the history and memory of our nation from its very foundation.
The title chosen for the book we are launching today is equally potent, echoing Laurence Binyon’s celebrated war poem, For the Fallen.
Binyon wrote the now iconic fourth stanza of his poem just seven weeks after the outbreak of World War I, gazing out to sea from the cliffs of Cornwall.
Australia lost some 60,000 servicemen in that conflict and almost three times that number were wounded, but, as history has shown us, it was unfortunately not the war to end all wars.
As a consequence, Binyon’s words still resonate strongly with us all and, today, remain at the very heart of Legacy’s commitment to service.
When Hobart’s Remembrance Club and the Legacy Club in Melbourne were established for returned soldiers a hundred years ago, the members took on the responsibility of supporting the widows and children of their deceased or seriously injured fellow servicemen.
Today, more than 4,000 Legatees and other volunteers are supporting this vital service through more than 40 clubs throughout Australia. It is a remarkable story of commitment, and the Legacy Club of Brisbane can be proud of the part it has played in that story.
Graeme and I congratulate the Club’s leadership team on the decision to publish this collection.
It has been an enormous project and as Governor, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate and thank the contributors who have shared their stories, as well as the exceptional team of writers, editors and other creatives, many of them volunteers, who have seen the project through to fruition.
Legatees accept the legacy of the fallen as a privilege. We must all continue to strive, with them, to ensure that Binyon’s words are never forgotten and that “at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them”.
It now gives me great pleasure to officially launch We Who Are Left to Grow Old and to wish the Legacy Club of Brisbane every success for Legacy’s next hundred years.