Mark Doble, a Fairfield local, is embarking on an impressive endurance ride from Fremantle in Western Australia to the steps of the Sydney Opera House, covering a monumental distance of 5,471km. He will be riding in a velomobile, Rotovelo Mk2, to raise funds for Legacy’s centenary. The journey is expected to take between eight to ten weeks, and Mark will be making stops along the way to rest and recuperate for the next leg of his journey.
The 59 year-old has a personal connection to Legacy’s cause, which is his main motivation for undertaking this feat. He had two great uncles who served in the Great War, and his grandmother’s brother-in-law tragically passed away from his wounds six weeks before the Armistice. His grandmother’s brother went on to serve in WWII but unfortunately passed away after the war when Mark was 11 years old. Mark’s grandmother was the president of the local Torchbearers for Legacy in Campbelltown, and he often helped with fundraising events during his childhood, even serving as a page boy for the Legacy Debutante Balls.
Mark was inspired to give back after hearing about his family’s history of wartime service and tales from his grandmother. After being unable to join the RAAF, Mark found other ways to serve his country. In 2014, he completed the first Velomobile crossing in Australia and raised money for Legacy. His latest ride is his way of giving back again, marking Legacy’s centenary year.
Legacy is celebrating 100 years of supporting the families of veterans in 2023. During World War I, a soldier made a promise to look after his dying mate’s family, inspiring others who returned from the war to help families left behind. In 1923, Major General Sir John Gellibrand formed the Remembrance Club in Hobart, and Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige established a similar club in Melbourne, which was named Legacy. Legacy and its network of clubs throughout Australia are the only veteran service organization in the country solely dedicated to caring for and supporting the families of veterans.
Mark says that he was inspired to undertake this journey to support Legacy’s work, and he hopes that others will get behind the cause too. He believes that the job that the armed forces have done for the country has touched him deeply, and he is honoured to be able to support Legacy in their mission to care for and support veterans’ families.