SUE Black, of Langwarrin is one of 1500 participants in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay that started in France in April and will end at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on Friday 13 October.
The relay, which will see the torch being carried for more than 50,000 kilometres, through 100 stops, in a bid to raise more than $10 million for Legacy.
King Charles gave the torch relay a royal welcome when it visited Buckingham Palace at the end of April, at the start of its journey though London before landing in Australia. The King was presented with a Legacy commemorative torch by Australian Victoria Cross recipient Daniel Keighran.
The torch relay passes through the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston on Wednesday 27 September before going to Sale and then Tasmania. The relay ends at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on Friday 13 October
Black, 59, a married mother of two and grandmother of four, who has worked as a group fitness instructor on the Mornington Peninsula for the past 30 years, contacted Legacy after it announced it was looking for torch bearers whose relatives had been in the defence force.
Her father had served in World War II and “naturally I submitted my letter” to take part in the historic event, Black said.
The torch’s progress on the peninsula and through Frankston will involve commemorative plaques being unveiled at Mornington Memorial Park, Rupert White Reserve, Mount Eliza and at the war memorial in Beauty Park, Frankston.
“My dad was in World War II but never spoke about it. But he made me remember what he fought for as every Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, we would always buy a poppy and badge and honour the fallen,” Black said.
“When my father passed away, Legacy contacted my mother and visited her. As we didn’t know much about Legacy it became a really important part of my mother’s life.
“Every Christmas they would visit her, and I remember her telling me that she was so happy when that day would come, and they would give her a handkerchief and Christmas card.
“Her fence blew down in a storm and they paid for her part of it as she was only on a fortnight pension and couldn’t afford it, we were ever so grateful.”
Black said Legacy looked into my father’s service records and found that he was awarded five war medals “which we knew nothing about”.
“I proudly have them today, along with his records in their original condition.”
Black will find out next month what part of the Mornington or Frankston legs of the relay she will run.
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 is a six-month campaign to pay homage and acknowledge veterans’ families, saluting their sacrifice.
Legacy Week this year runs from 27 August to 2 September.
To donate to Legacy, go to: legacytorchrelay.com.au/make-a-donation/