Army reservists from Unit 41 st Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment (41 RNSWR) have rolled up their sleeves to help clean up the overgrown garden of 92 year old Legacy widow, Mrs Myrie McPherson.

41 RNSWR joined forces with Defence Reserve and Employer Support and Legacy Australia to organise this activity. The ‘Backyard Assist’ program supports older Defence widows by making their over-grown yards more manageable for the long term.

Before the torrential weather predicted for Northern NSW hits, Unit 41 RNSWR removed garden andbhousehold waste from Mrs McPherson’s yard through heavy rainfall and winds.

“With the extra rubbish and green-waste around the house, it’s good to be able to remove the risk of any projectiles if a big storm does come through,” said MAJ Adam Fairhurst from Defence Reserve and Employer Support.

Grey skies however, couldn’t stop our reservists from joining forces with their civilian employers from helping their local community and support the families of ex-service men and women.

Mrs McPherson, whose late husband served in the Australian Army in Borneo during WWII, watched the clean-up with a smile, “It’s a large backyard, too much for me. They’ve done a wonderful job.”

Mrs McPherson had recently lost her son, Colin, to cancer. Mrs McPherson’s legatee Brenda McKenzie, said that the yard work completed provided a reason to smile for the family during a difficult time.

To commemorate her son, MAJ Fairhurst and Unit 41 RNSWR presented Mrs McPherson with a ‘remember me’ rosebush that’ll flower colourful yellow roses in autumn and spring.

Mrs McPherson thanked Unit 41 RNSWR and their civilian employers for all their help and generosity.

Defence Reserve and Employer Support are planning to help more regional communities with programs such as Backyard Assist in 2021.

Australian Army soldiers from the 41st Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, stand with Mrs Myrie McPherson and Legacy volunteers during Legacy’s Backyard Assist in Northern NSW on 12 December 2020.

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