Rochester resident Thelma Evans is grateful for the support she received from Rochester’s Legacy group when her husband Kenneth Evans died several years ago.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester’s Legacy group was a huge support to Thelma Evans when her husband Kenneth Evans died several years ago.
When the couple married in 1950, Mrs Evans was reluctant to move with Mr Evans from England to Australia.
Before they met, Mr Evans
After spending a few months in the country, he wanted to make it home.
In 1951, the couple moved to Australia.
The pair led a colourful life; they slept in a migrant hut in Coburg for eight months, on a veranda in Brunswick for six months and a lived in a garage in Essendon.
Twenty years ago, after owning five different businesses and a farm, they moved to Rochester.
Mrs Evans enjoyed the climate and her son owned a farm in the town but moved away a few years later.
Sadly, when Mr Evans died seven years ago, Mrs Evans was left without family close by.
This is when Rochester’s Legacy branch reached out and offered assistance.
Mr Evans was a RSL member and Legacy insisted on taking care of her.
‘‘If I need anything, I just call,’’ she said.
Mrs Evans said she was fiercely independent but liked the support offered by her legatee, who wished to remain anonymous.
A legatee is a legacy member assigned to assist a war widow with her daily needs.
‘‘I love going to the Christmas party every year and the spins to Echuca,’’ she said.
‘‘They always make sure I’m all right.’’
The biggest assistance she received from her legatee was manual work during the January 2011 flood.
‘‘I was evacuated and sent to Echuca and I rang and asked him to check the damage,’’ she said.
‘‘He rounded up all these men and they pulled the carpet up before I get back.
‘‘He was a tremendous help.’’
She said she would have found it difficult to cope without such support.
Rochester’s legacy group is part of the Echuca branch and assists 45 widows in Rochester and Elmore.
The money raised by Legacy goes towards helping widows with daily needs and funds day trips and events.
Rochester Legacy will be fundraising by selling items outside the Rochester Newsagency from today until Thursday.
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