LEGACY TO THE RESCUE
SERVICE’S HELP WAS ‘LIFE-CHANGING’
When Dorothy Newman’s husband John returned from fighting in Papua New Guinea during World War II, he was not the same man who left.
‘‘He came back in 1945 and had a lot of heart problems because of the war,’’ she said.
In 1967, Mr Newman died from a heart attack while sitting in the lounge room of the couple’s home in St Georges Rd, Shepparton.
‘‘I was 39 years of age, making him a cup of tea before bed, and when I went to give it to him in the lounge I found him dead,’’ Mrs Newman said.
Left to bring up their four children alone — the eldest aged 12 and the youngest just four — Mrs Newman turned to volunteer organisation Legacy House for help.
‘‘It was a tough time, but Legacy were marvellous,’’ she said.
With little to her name, Legacy House helped Mrs Newman put her children through primary school and secondary school.
‘‘They would take the children on picnics and away on holidays,’’ she said.
‘‘They found me a job doing housework, but I was only paid 40¢ an hour, so it wasn’t enough to pay for the kids’ education.’’
Each year Legacy House bought the children presents and one year each received a bike thanks to the organisation.
Next year will mark the 50th year since Legacy House first began helping Mrs Newman and her family.
‘‘I wouldn’t have been able to get the kids through school if it wasn’t for Legacy,’’ she said.
‘‘They’ve been life-changing, I couldn’t have coped without them.’’
Since 1989, the year Mrs Newman retired, she has given back to the organisation through volunteer work and estimates she has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours selling pins, pens, badges and bracelets for Legacy House’s annual appeals.
‘‘Legacy means the world to me, so I volunteer wherever and whenever they need me,’’ Mrs Newman said.
‘‘I do it to give back because they’ve given me so much.’’
These days, Shepparton Legacy House supports more than 240 dependants of deceased Australian service men and women.
Legacy Week — the annual national appeal to raise awareness and funds for the families of our incapacitated and deceased services veterans — began on Sunday and will finish this Saturday.
Huge help: Shepparton resident Dorothy Newman relied on Legacy House to help put her four young children through school, following the death of her husband.
On the job: Shepparton Legacy House volunteers Shirley Hay and Dorothy Newman spent the yesterday at Coles, raising money for the volunteer organisation.