A lasting Legacy for Beth

Beth Tennent was part of the Legacy Centenary Relay Rockhampton leg.

By Tania Phillips

The Centenary Legacy Relay held special meaning for Beth Tennant – one of the participants in the Rockhampton leg of the event.

“I was a legacy ward – my dad died back in 1963 when I was ten and I’m the eldest of five so mum had five us ten and under, my littlest brother was only six months,” she said.

“Dad had been in the Second World War in the Second Machinegun Battalion and he saw service in the Middle East and the Pacific, he got the Middle East Star and the Pacific Star. Dad passed away and left mum with five of us ten and under and she had no idea what to do because it was all very sudden and legacy stepped in.

“I became a legacy ward, as did my three brothers and sister and they helped out. I was living in Mackay at the time, they became a massive part of our lives. As you can imagine having five of us it was really tough for mum having no money. She’d been a dressmaker but in those days they didn’t work, dad was the breadwinner, we would have been totally lost without Legacy.”

She said the family didn’t know anything about Legacy until they needed them.

“Mum used to call me the little mother because I ended up looking after my little brothers and sister but the Legacy people, in particular we had a man called Mr Storey. He used to visit us all of the time, he used to take me and my brothers (not the two little ones but the three oldest members of the family) out all the time. The thing that was really wonderful was that they encouraged us all to get a good education – we probably wouldn’t have had that before.”

“I was the first one in my family who went to university, my sister also went to uni. But we all had good jobs over our lives. But education was one thing that Mr Storey really pushed with us.”

Beth then found a way to give back in later years becoming a Legatee herself in recent times and that’s how she found out about the relay.

“I joined the Rockhampton and Central Qld Legacy and I’m a Legatee with them,” she said.

“The call went out to do legs in the relay so I decided I would on behalf of my family. I was going to push my mum in the wheelchair – she’s now 94. I’m 70 and my youngest brother is 60, I will be the only one doing the relay, I’m the only one involved in legacy but mum still goes to the Legacy Laurel Club which is the Ladies Club.”

She said she hadn’t thought much about it as a lecturer at the University teaching accounting but once she retired in 2012 it took her a while to work out what she might like to do with the rest of her life.

“I took mum along to one of the Christmas get togethers for the Legacy up in Rocky and I thought – yep this is it,” Beth said.

“We all have some ladies to look after, some of the widows were part of the relay too.”

She said the relay was a great thing, starting over in France and then travelling around Australia.

Other News

On the trail of wine and food

The Granite Belt is Australia's highest wine country region, sitting 900 metres above sea level, with a vast countryside, working farms and quintessential towns...

U3A Expo of Activities wins over new members

An Expo of the activities offered by U3A Rockhampton and District was held at Frenchville Sports Club on 6 February. An open invitation to...

New Noosa group brings scrabblers out of the woodwork

It’s no exaggeration to say that Noosa woman Megan Marks loves Scrabble. The woman known as ‘Mad Scrabbler Meg’ loves it so much she’s...

Robyn enjoys the sweet life

Sunshine Coast cake artist Robyn Brown may have retired from the public services a couple of years ago, but she is busier than ever...

Double delight when ABBA meets Queen

It promises to be double the delight when the Sunshine Coast’s premiere vocal group, Oriana Choir, presents the music of ABBA and Queen on...