VALE James Russell Leggo
2nd August 1929 – 9th March 2015
I regret to advise that our member Russell Leggo died last Monday week 3rd March. He was 85.
Russell joined the club in October 1995 after having 20 years of membership with the RC St Kilda where he had served as President.
Russell regarded Rotary membership a privilege and contributed wherever he could.
In total close to 40 years a Rotarian. Russell was a 5 Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow and a much loved and generous member of the Peninsular, Toorak 3, East Timor, and Rotary Foundation Committee.
Russell experienced the 'Great Depression' first hand and this gave him the insight that property was the one unchanging factor in prosperity. It was natural that after completion of studies in property valuation and real estate at RMIT, In 1955 he was the co-founder with Ian Stockdale one of the most respected firms in the real estate industry - Stockdale and Leggo. He retired from active involvement in the business in the early 1990's to concentrate on large scale property development.
On a personal level Russell was motivated by a television story about the parlous state of education In Bangladesh. His donation towards building a school in that country - was enhanced by a Rotary Foundation matching contribution. The result was a school for 170 students and an endowed literacy program.
Russell Yesterday’s memorial service for family and friends was absolutely spot on in honouring his memory and perfectly identified the strengths of his family relationships from his marriage to Liz (decd) for 59 years, his care and attention of her through her illness and his dogged determination not to lose his dignity during his terminal health battle.
Alan Trumble a close friend of Russell’s says of him “I knew Russell for in excess of 64 years and to me he never changed.” In essence he was a lion of a man, demanding of the standards he observed but generous, loving and supportive to his family, friends and colleagues.
All I can add from my own thoughts are “you are lucky in life as I was to have a friend like Rus, he was one of a kind a big, strong and generous gentleman.”