Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE - By HAY­DEN THOM­SON

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.

Pic­ture: Holly Cur­tis

On the job: Shepparton Legacy House vol­un­teers Shirley Hay and Dorothy Newman spent the yes­ter­day at Coles, rais­ing money for the vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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