From the Newsroom

Local torchbearers Peter Hay and Fred Norris proudly participated in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 on June 26, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Legacy. Image: Emma Pritchard

Lighting the way to celebrate 100 years

Emma Pritchard


From Pozieres, France, to Grafton, Australia, the spirit of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023, continued to burn brightly when it arrived in the Clarence Valley on June 26 to commence it’s Grafton tour as part of its nationwide journey commemorating the 100th anniversary of Legacy, an iconic charity dedicated to providing support and assistance to the families of deceased and seriously injured Australian Defence Force personnel.

More than 1000 torchbearers, all with a personal connection to Legacy, have proudly carried the flame since the relay began on the Western Front on April 25.

Presented by Defence Australia, the event will stop at 100 destinations including 44 Australian Legacy clubs, and travel an estimated 50000km.

Holding the flame high above him, Grant Roder said he felt honoured to be the first of 18 local torchbearers as he walked the first 300m of a 6.72km route from the Blue Goose Hotel in Junction Hill along the Summerland Way, escorted by an Australian Defence Force Tri-Service, to where the next torchbearer Peter Hay waited patiently.

Changing hands as it wound its way through local streets, the Grafton tour of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 culminated with a special commemoration service at Memorial Park.

Wreaths were laid respectfully at the base of the cenotaph while the final torchbearer Arthur Lysaught lit a cauldron nearby, signalling the completion of the flame’s journey in the Clarence Valley.

The final torchbearer of the Grafton tour in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023, Arthur Lysaught lit a cauldron in Grafton’s Memorial Park during a special commemoration service, to signal the conclusion of the flame’s journey through the Clarence Valley. Image: contributed

As he acknowledged the local torchbearers for doing a magnificent job, President of Grafton Legacy Robert McFarlane said he was extremely proud to celebrate the milestone event this week, revealing he got a bit teary as the emotions of the occasion overwhelmed him.

“Legacy is a really big part of my life,” he said.

“Grafton Legacy looks after 157 war widows and one school aged child in our local community, and as a club, we always do what we can for them.

“To celebrate 100 years of Legacy in 2023, it’s wonderful.”

His words were echoed by CEO of Legacy Australia Graham Boyd, who described the relay as a wonderful way to commemorate the 100th anniversary.

Founded on a promise made in the trenches during World War I by a soldier who comforted his dying mate by reassuring him his family would be looked after following his passing, Legacy currently supports close to 40000 widows, children, and dependents across Australia.

After departing Grafton, the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 journeyed to Inverell on June 28.

For the latest updates and to follow the relay around Australia, please visit or download the Legacy 100th Torch Relay app.