Historical information

An article from the Bulletin including the text an address by Legatee Kem Kemsley at a Legacy event on 4 October 1977.
He discusses the beginnings of Legacy.
He starts with Legatee Savige's tip to Hobart and Sir John Gellibrand's Remembrance Club. Then a meeting of the 24th Battalion at Phair's Hotel in 1923 and the men there agreeing to start a similar club, he mentions Sandy Lowe as a member at the meeting in 1977 that was at the initial meeting in 1923. He also mentions other at that initial meeting were Savige, Frank Selleck, Ted Pittard, Bob Irving, and 'Babe' Norman.
He relates the approach made to Sir John Monash to be the first president. It was when Savige was in Frank Meldrum's dentist chair that the plan was hatched for Meldrum, (who was playing tennis with Monash's son-in-law, Gershon Bennett), to approach Monash to be president. It shows the nature of relations between high ranking ex servicemen. Instead Monash suggested Colonel Harold Cohen. Initially Legacy was founded with 'one person from each profession or business who will represent that profession until such time as the Club has established itself on a wider basis.'
For example there were 'two solicitors - Downing and Armstrong, Meldrum as dentist, George Worboys as plumber, Dr Gardener as the eye specialist, Doolan and Goodchild as Surveyors, Fred Wickham of the Premier's department who was regarded as very important, Baker from Myer's Emporium, Joynt from the printing world and Blackett the architect.'
He also mentions a Police Strike and General Monash set up a special constabulary force. Cohen, Kemsley and many of the early legatees answered the call to help keep peace.
By December 1923 there were 54 members of the new Legacy club. The name was under consideration as the Tasmanian club was called Remembrance Club. Pip Powell nominated the name of Legacy to be submitted for consideration, but it was Frank Selleck who moved the formal resolution.
The speech mentions that Sir Gellibrand was appointed Patron of Legacy and later Monash and Sir Harry Chauvel were chosen.
Frank Doolan posed the question 'what does Legacy really mean?' and focus changed toward widows and children. Citing some slightly different dates to those in a later speech about the start of Legacy (at 02029) he says it was July 1926 that they met with widows and a couple of weeks later 142 boys were to attend Anzac House for a Literary and Debating class.
Ballarat and Geelong had formed clubs by 1925 and Legatee Hilmer Smith was transferred with his work to Sydney and started a Legacy Club there in 1926. The first Conference was held in November 1926.
The first Government House Christmas party for children was held in 1926, when the Governor General of Australia was still residing there.
His final words were about his war experiences and relates a speech made by Legatee Brian Armstrong on 28th February 1961 (02502) that also spoke of the area around the Pozieres Windmill that was part of the battle of the Somme in July/August 1916, where so many of the early legatees fought..
The article was part of an album of past presidents from 1965 to 1989. The folder included biographical details and obituaries, eulogies and death notices of prominent Legatees. The items have been catalogued separately.


A record of a speech made by Legatee Kem Kemsley a past president of Legacy about events in the early days of Legacy. The information was collected to record the lives of prominent legatees in a folder.

Physical description

Photocopy of 5 pages from Bulletin on an address by Legatee Kem Kemsley in 1977.

Inscriptions & markings

Bulletin 4.10.77. Page No 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.