Carrying the torch for Tathra for 50 years

THE Tathra Torch Bearers celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday.

The group has raised funds for Legacy for the past 50 years, recently passing the $100,000 mark.

About 30 members and guests gathered at Thornleigh on Newton, Bega, to enjoy lunch and reflect on the group’s success.

Tathra Torch Bearers president Meg Millard said it was a great time to celebrate.

“We’re a happy little group,” she said.

“The majority of us are war widows and our members are mostly in their 80s or 90s.

“This is a good turnout today because people were called away and things pop up, which we understand happens.”

The $100,000 has been raised through numerous fundraising activities, such as Legacy stalls, golf days, soup and sandwich days, changeover dinners, progress lunches and fashion parades.

Ms Millard said it was a proud achievement.

“I think it’s incredible, because sometimes we have been left with very few members,” she said.

The turning point occurred five years ago when the Tathra Torch Bearers looked like they were folding.

Thanks to the aid of Ms Millard, the group was bolstered by an injection of new members.

Dignitaries at Wednesday’s luncheon included Bega Valley Shire councillor Tony Allen and Philip McNamara, president of the Legacy Club of Wollongong and South Coast, which covers from Tathra to Helensburgh.

Mr McNamara said Legacy was grateful to receive support from groups such as the Tathra Torch Bearers.

He said the group deserved recognition for reaching the 50-year anniversary.

“It’s a wonderful achievement and we appreciate the great support,” Mr McNamara said.

“It’s very important for Legacy.”

50 great years

 A TATHRA branch of Torch Bearers for Legacy was established in the early 1960s.

At the inaugural meeting, there were 18 Tathra residents present, along with a Ms P Allen from Bombala.

In August 1963, the Bega District News reported the first committee consisted of president Mrs L Pearce, vice-presidents E McDonald and A Mathews, secretary Mrs B Croft and treasurer Mrs W Williams.

The BDN noted that the Tathra Torch Bearers were the first women’s charitable organisation formed in Tathra, with support anticipated from both residents and tourists alike.

At this time, Tathra would been a small village of maybe 1000 people.

The main function of the branch was to raise funds for Legacy.

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