All set for Legacy’s centenary torch legacy relay for Europe start before first Australian leg in Albany
Legacy’s torch relay to commemorate 100 years of supporting the families of Australian veterans will start this weekend in France, 10 days before arriving in Albany for the first on Australian soil.
The relay will start in Pozieres, France, on April 23, before travelling to Belgium via Villers-Bretonneux for the Anzac Day ceremony.
By April 28 the relay will reach London before the flame is transported halfway around the world for the Albany relay leg on May 3.
Legacy Australia chair Eric Easterbrook said he was excited the relay was about to start after more than four years in the planning.
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Mr Easterbrook was due to fly out to Europe this week for the first leg and he said he would follow the relay to several of its key legs, including Albany.
“Our chief executive, Graham Boyd, and I will be leapfrogging at various times,” he said.
“I was talking to my wife and friends a couple of weeks ago and we were saying it’s almost like being back in the military.
“We’ll go away on deployment then come back to do the washing, the wife irons it, and it’s packed in the bag so we can leave the next day.”
The Albany leg of the relay will see the flame escorted across the sand at Binalup/Middleton Beach by a light horse brigade to the first torchbearer on Australian soil, Kim Beazley.
From there it will pass between another 22 torchbearers as it makes its way to the National Anzac Centre at the top of Mt Adelaide.
Mr Easterbrook said it was important the relay visited the city because of Albany’s significant connection to the Anzac legacy.
He said he suspected some of the soldiers who left in the 38-ship convoy from King George Sound would have become legatees.
“This relay is to commemorate the families of all veterans who have given their life or health and it’s also to recognise all the good work that has been done by legatees since 1923,” he said.
“The early legatees had it a lot harder than we have it nowadays because they would do physical work for families and when there were funds required they dipped into their own pockets to provide those funds.”
Following the Albany leg, Legacy WA will host a reception at the Albany RSL in the afternoon.
There will be two further WA legs of the relay after the torch leaves Albany: in Fremantle on May 5 and through the streets of Perth, culminating in a community fun day on May 6.
Te relay will then travel to Adelaide and Darwin before a further 40 legs through Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Tasmania and Victoria.
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