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Hobart celebrates a 100-year legacy

ONE hundred is a very special number for Hobart Legacy.

This year, not only will the organisation commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC but three of its widows will turn 100 years old.

To celebrate the milestone birthdays of Doreen Hodgman, Dot Shields and Effie Matthews, Hobart Legacy held a special morning tea in March.

President Peter Hodge hosted the event which honoured the women and their unique stories.

“On behalf of Hobart Legacy and Legacy Australia, we wish these ladies a very happy birthday,” he said.

Born on 21 October 1915, Ms Shields met her husband, John, at the start of World War II.

“Shortly after their wedding, John was posted to Darwin in the signals,” Mr Hodge said.

“He clocked up 1298 days of operational service and of course, for Dot, that was ‘separation’.

“Dot has been a Legacy widow since 1994 and at 99 years-of-age, she lives in her own home, which her daughter tells me is spotless.”

Ms Matthews was born on 4 September 1915 and met “the love of her life”, Laurie, at Hobart’s old Belvedere dancing studio when he was in the Navy Reserves.

“When the war came Laurie went to Point Cook for a year’s training as a radio operator,” Mr Hodges said.

“He was placed at Geraldton until 1945 but Effie, who was engaged, waited for him and they married in January 1946.”

Ms Hodgman was born on 16 October 1915 and met her husband, Jeffery, in 1939.

“Dot and Jeff married before he went to the Middle East as a member of the Second Eighth Field Regiment in 1940,” Mr Hodge said.

“Doreen and Jeff’s first child, Michael, was born in 1941 and Jeff did not see him for three years.

“After returning from the desert Jeff went on to serve in Borneo and Doreen went to work as a governess and then a nurse.”

There are 1267 Legacy war widows in southern Tasmania and 1600 in northern Tasmania.

Nationally, Legacy cares for 90,000 widows who live with loss or incapacitation of their veteran partner.

To find out more about Hobart Legacy go to www.legacy.com.au or call 6234 6581.

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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