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The Legacy Hour on Radio Adelaide

Monday 27 June, 2016


Legacy widows keep memories of the fallen alive through conversation and music, with all the latest news and information on the events that matter to those who carry on.

Join us, and remember them.

The Legacy Hour is brought to you by the Legacy Club of Adelaide Inc.

See The Legacy Hour interviews below, and be sure to check out Facebook page on Monday afternoons for direct links to the podcasts.

Genevieve Rueger: President of the very first South Australian Women’s RSL Sub Brand

In May this year, an Australian Defence Force (ADF) White Paper release outlined an aim to grow and advance the female workforce within the ADF.  There are currently around 60,000 full time personnel in the ADF and about 9,000 of them are women.  Over the next decade that 9,000 is expected to increase by around 2,500.  It is understandable therefore that the role of women within the RSL should evolve.

The Legacy Hour’s  Producer, Helen Meyer spoke with Genevieve Rueger about her appointment as the President of the first South Australian Women’s RSL Sub Branch, as distinct from Women’s Auxiliary.  Genevieve, a current serving soldier, a wife, a mother of two young children, a helicopter pilot, and the recipient of a Zonta ‘Woman of Achievement’ award, is a quietly spoken, capable young woman well qualified for the role of taking women into this new phase of the RSL.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Sharon Cleary: A remarkable event – South Australia’s cheer-Up Huts and Cheer-Up Club

The Anzac Centenary Cheer-Up Hut commenced its regional tour in May. First stop was the Mount Pleasant Soldiers Memorial Hall where Veterans SA collaborated with the local Mount Pleasant Community who had re-created a comprehensive display for the 2016 South Australian History Festival.

Put together by local historian Paula Bartsch and her team from the Mount Pleasant District Historical Research Group, the Cheer-Up Hut re-creation included carefully researched profiles of over 250 servicemen and servicewomen from the Mount Pleasant district. Donations of items for display came from around the community and included diaries and photographs, historical artefacts such as buttons, badges, uniforms, and household items, representative of World War I and World War II.

Sharon Cleary, Manager of the Anzac Centenary Coordination Unit told Legacy Hour Listeners about this fabulous ongoing event and the Cheer-Up Hut Club, and how they reflect the history of South Australia, allowing all of us to participate and contribute.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Part 4: Deborah McDermott 90yo Legacy Widow – the story continues post WW2 – migration to Australia. 

In this last part of Deborah McDermott’s story as told to Legatee Mary Barton, she tells of Dunkirk, of her marriage to Peter who served in the Merchant Navy during the war, an extremely hazardous period for merchant shipping; and of their migration to Australia and the Migrant Hostel at Gepps Cross after the war.  Then a very homesick Deborah is told by Peter that they can return to the UK.

Back in the UK Deborah gets a job driving a bread delivery van.  They eventually return to Australia where Deborah becomes one of the very first Teachers’ Aids in South Australia, at Elizabeth High School.

Interviewer Legatee Mary Barton

Producer Helen Meyer

Part 3: Deborah McDermott 90yo Legacy Widow – The Story Continues

Deborah has told in parts 1 and 2 of her childhood in post World War 1 England and of her life during World War 2 when she became an ambulance driver.  She continues her story…  in this episode she talks about her dearly loved brothers and their military service.

Interviewer Legatee Mary Barton

Producer Helen Meyer

Rob Manton, Director of Veterans SA: The issues that matter in the Veteran Community

Veterans SA may be imbued with the very public face of conducting events to remember our Military history and honour our troops, such as the extremely popular Spirit of ANZAC Centenary Experience at Wayville Showgrounds recently, and the special South Australian extension of that, the ‘Cheer-up Hut’ interactive exhibition which will tour many regional areas, but behind the scenes Veterans SA are hard at work dealing not just with the ‘now’ in relation to our South Australian Veteran Community, but with the future as well.

Have a listen as Rob Manton, Director of Veterans SA explains.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Part 2: Deborah McDermott 92 years – From the UK; WW2; Post war England; Migration to Australia

The story continues.  92 year old Legacy Widow Deborah McDermott told her story to Legatee Mary Barton.  It’s a story that begins in the United Kingdom just after WW1, continues through the austere, uncertain years of WW2, then the post war period, migration to Australia, severe homesickness and more.

Have a listen as we continue with part 2 of Deborah’s story, and watch out for parts 3 and 4 next week.

Interviewer Legatee Mary Barton

Part 1: Deborah McDermott 92 years – From the UK; WW2; Post war England; Migration to Australia

92 year old Legacy Widow Deborah McDermott has led an interesting life to say the least!  Still with an infectious chuckle in her voice, Deborah told her story to Legatee Mary Barton.

We knew that Deborah is a very resourceful woman, but we had no idea of the depth of that resourcefulness.  How does a diminutive woman driver get her vehicle into places that no man can go?  Deborah did.  How does someone with no formal qualifications beat others with all the right certificates to a job in Education?  Deborah did.   It’s said that behind every face there’s a story…  well, Deborah has heaps of them.

Interviewer Legatee Mary Barton

Azer Banu Kemaloglu: From hostility to lasting friendship – changing perceptions

Dr Kemaloglu, from Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University in Turkey has opened up new views of the Anzac Legend with her research into Turkish Gallipoli Veterans’ memoirs.

Working alongside Australian researchers such as Dr Sharon Mascall-Dare of Adelaide, and supported by Veterans SA,  Monash University granted Azer a scholarship to carry out research that further cements the friendship that exists between Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.  Azer’s research didn’t examine the issues of war, but rather the personal, human side of the conflict and the aftermath.

The end result is a very emotional, insightful exhibition.  From hostility to lasting friendship is a very apt title.

Interviewer Helen Meyer


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