Resident Stories

Toowoomba Relay

Oak Tree’s Very Own John Telfer And His Incredible Work For Legacy

Legacy is an iconic Australian charity that was established in 1923, and founded to provide social, financial, and development support for veterans’ families who are experiencing grief, loss, and hardship. It was established off the back of a promise made in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I, when a solider said to his dying mate, “I’ll look after the missus and kids.” Those who returned from the war, set out to uphold this promise and assist the tens of thousands of veterans, widows, and children left behind from the soldiers who tragically didn’t make it home. In 1923, Major General Sir John Gellibrand formed the Remembrance Club in Hobart, followed by Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige, who was inspired to establish the Legacy Club in Melbourne. 

For the past 100 years, Legacy, in conjunction with a network of Legacy clubs throughout regional and metropolitan Australia, has worked to keep this promise, and stands proudly as the only veteran service organisation in Australia dedicated solely to the care and support of veterans’ families. 

Legacy cares for over 40,000 veterans’ families, including widows in their senior years, younger widows with children, and veterans’ dependents with disabilities. With over 3400 volunteers, they strive to ensure those in care can reach their full potential. 

This year, Legacy is celebrating their centenary with The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023, presented by Defence Health marking 100 years of service to those who have sacrificed. Beginning in Pozieres, France, in the lead up to Anzac Day, the Centenary Torch will travel around the world, stopping at all 45 Legacy Clubs worldwide. 

This year, Oak Tree were very proud to sponsor one of our own inspiring residents, John Telfer from our Warwick village, who took part in the Toowoomba leg of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay, flying the flag for the Granite Belt on June 14th. 

“For me personally, being selected as a torch bearer in an international relay gave me a huge sense of pride. I also carried the baton in the 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games, but the Legacy Relay meant so much more because its main purpose was to assist the wives and families of those in service and ex-service who never made it home”, says John. 

John is a former teacher, RAAF member, historian, and Warwick/Stanthorpe Today history writer. As a historian, he is in awe of the Anzacs and the contribution they have made to the history of Australia, in particular their mateship, sacrifice, and courage. 

“It was such a great experience walking beside service members of the Army, Navy, and Air force Personnel. Their presence brought back the feelings from my time in the Services with the RAAF. What has given me the biggest thrill is the fact that I was told in Toowoomba that I was the highest individual fundraiser in the Southern Downs, and possibly Queensland. I just hope the donations will continue in my name to support my efforts.”

John is a huge supporter of all the amazing work Legacy does and has already raised an incredible $4000. Oak Tree are proud to support him and look forward to sponsoring him for years to come!

Donations allow Legacy to continue their life changing work and keep their promise to veterans’ families. To learn more about Legacy’s work and to donate, visit

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