Legacy help inspired Joan to join group
THE shock death of her husband, a World War II veteran, left Joan Ibell distraught, but after receiving support from Legacy, Joan realised her experience could help other widows through the trauma of losing a lifelong partner and friend.
"It came out of the blue, my husband had been in hospital and was due to come out the next day ... I got a phonecall at 4.50am from the hospital telling me that my husband had had a turn and there was no need to hurry (because he had died),'' she said.
That was more than 20 years ago now, but Joan has used that experience to provide hope and support to others.
"I got talked into being a welfare officer for Legacy and thought that because I'd been through that traumatic experience, I could help other widows ? if they could see that I'd been through it and come out the other side, it might give them the strength to keep going,'' she said.
Joan said that despite the fact there were about 180 war-widows across Gladstone, Legacy did not have the support and publicity it needed to raise funds.
"People don't realise that it's not just the widows, but the children who also receive support ... and Legacy doesn't get any government funding or any help except from fundraising for Legacy Week (August 28 to September 3),'' she said.
She said Legacy was always the first to offer support and assistance when a veteran died.
"The ladies know what Legacy does and it means a lot to them ? I still see them everywhere and still stop and talk to them, they're still my ladies and it's still in my head and in my heart, it always will be,'' Joan said.