Ballina turns out to thank Legacy
Mr Anderson, a Legacy ward from the age of 10, and his wife Ruth did not want to miss celebrating the achievements of an organisation that's meant so much to his family.
“In 1945 my father was killed during active service in New Guinea and my mother was left with four young children,” Mr Anderson, of Ballina, said.
“I was the eldest. My mother, Nell, was a very stubborn and strong woman.”
Despite his mother's fierce independence, a Legacy man by the name of Bert Osmond came forward to help the family, who were living in Ballina.
A Legacy branch was not established in the Northern Rivers until 1948, but Mr Osmond took it on himself to help Mrs Anderson and her children with items such as school shoes and fuel.
“I was lucky enough to get a bursary and Legacy sent me to Woodlawn College where they kept a close eye on my grades and what I was up to,” Mr Anderson laughed.
Because they suffered asthma, his sisters were sent to board at Dorrigo Convent, all financed by Legacy.
“I could never repay Legacy for all that they've done for me and my family,” said Mr Anderson.
While that may be true, he has certainly worked hard for Legacy since.
Mr Anderson is now the senior vice-president of Ballina Legacy and a past president of the Far North Coast Legacy branch.
“I've got 23 widows I look after and it's great to be able to give something back,” he said.
More than 300 people gathered for yesterday's ceremony at the cenotaph in bright sunshine.
Piper Graham Broadhead played as ex-servicemen and families placed wreaths of remembrance for those fallen and those who have since died.
Following the ceremony the crowd reminisced at a luncheon at Ballina RSL Club.