What a difference a day makes, with the temperature in Ballarat halved from Friday’s scorcher 40+ to a much milder day on Saturday, perfect for the last day of the Ballarat Legacy Camp and a day of sailing on lake Wendouree.
The Ballarat Legacy camp is unique in Australia as it is the only Legacy camp at which parents accompany their children.
Jeremy Bannister from Ballarat Legacy said the 4 day camp saw children visiting Sovereign Hill, the Wildlife Park, a cruise on the paddle steamer, time at the Log Cabin in Creswick, the movies, swimming and culminated in a sailing lesson by the Ballaarat Yacht Club.
“The kids are approximately 5 to 15 years old and the difference with our camp is that the mothers get to know each other and can be a real support (to each other), it’s a bonding for them because they are predominantly young widows as a result from partners who have died in service or after service,” Mr Bannister said.
The camp is open to families from around Australia and this year almost 30 children from 13 families attended.
“What’s nice to see is the bond and they make lifelong friends and that’s lovely to see. They come here year after year, they love this camp because it’s not just the kids going off on their own, it’s the mothers joining them,” Mr Bannister said.
“We have had great support from many Ballarat businesses, they have done as much as they could to support us, which is great.”
Ballarat Legacy president Allan McKinnon added that Legacy is a unique organisation in Australia, which looks after service men and women and their children.
“People still perceive Legacy as looking after WWII widows, which they still do,” Mr McKinnon explained.
“People think Legacy just looks after old people and after I gave my speech at the opening of Legacy Week in Ballarat and said how many children in Ballarat we look after – 18 children – people asked who are they?
“They are children of those who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan and there are three (women) here, that I know of, three ladies in their early 30s whose husbands have taken their own lives.”