Maheno School Year 7 & 8 students are travelling to Fraser Island to the wreck site of the NZ hospital ship Maheno for Anzac Day 2015 commemorations.
On 20th April 2015 seven children and seven adults will travel from the small North Otago town of Maheno to Fraser Island in Australia on a special mission. We are going to Australia for Anzac Day 2015 WW100 commemorations at the site of the wreck of the NZHS Maheno which lies on the beach on Fraser Island, Queensland.
The Bell from the Maheno – which was gifted to the School in 1967 – has already travelled to Brisbane for two replicas to be cast. We will take the original bell with us to Fraser Island to be rung by the children at the remembrance service on Fraser Island on Anzac Day. One replica bell will stay in Brisbane at the Queensland Maritime Museum, while the other will be relocated to Fraser Island.
Since the beginning of the year the children have been working hard in class to learn as much about the ship as possible. They have been working with copies of the plans of the ship to identify areas of importance and gather knowledge on how the ship was transformed from a luxury liner into a fully operational hospital ship in just a few weeks.
The children have been given the names of people who were connected with the ship in some way during her war years. They are working on researching these people and presenting their findings to the class. They are also looking at maps of the Gallipoli Peninsula and its surroundings to identify the routes the ship would have taken when ferrying the wounded to safety on Imbros and Lemnos.
We have been contacted by many people with a connection to the ship either through their ancestors or with knowledge about the ship – this is absolutely wonderful as each story adds to the overall picture and also adds in many cases a very personal and poignant touch.
If anyone out there has some knowledge, memorabilia or a story about the Maheno, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.
This is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity for the children, one they will remember for the rest of their lives. We feel very honoured and privileged to be a part of such a significant event and to be representing our school, and our country.
Our trip is fast approaching. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make this trip happen and we are now getting to a very exciting stage. In mid-March the story even featured on TV1 News, so everyone at school is very excited.