NZ students to ring original Maheno bell on Fraser Island
A GROUP of 14 students and parents from the Maheno School in New Zealand will travel to Fraser Island to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli by ringing the original bell.
The original TSS Maheno ship's bell is returning to Fraser Island for the first time in about 80 years.
The Maheno is the largest relic of Gallipoli in Australia.
It was used as a First World War hospital ship and was at Gallipoli numerous times.
The original bell, which was gifted to the school in 1967, was brought across the Tasman recently to be replicated at Olds Engineering in Maryborough.
Principal Ryan Fraser said the children were honoured to take part in such an historic event.
"We are a very small community and to be representing our families, community and country at the Maheno service will be very special.
"For the children to have this experience is priceless.
"I believe everyone needs a place to be connected to - our children will always have really strong connections to Maheno, wherever and what ever they do in life after this trip, and I believe that is really important."
For Mr Fraser, the trip has great significance with his great grandfather having served at Gallipoli and his grandad serving in the Second World War.
"It is a huge honour for me to participating in the trip and service," he said.
"Anzac Day has played a big part of my life growing up. So much so that in 2004 I travelled to Gallipoli for Anzac Day.
"It was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. The things that those men put themselves through for our wonderful countries is mind blowing."
As well as funding from Rotary, the children have been raising funds to cover the cost of the trip through car washes, quiz nights, selling raffles tickets, applying for local grants and asking for donations on Give a Little website.
The group will call Happy Valley Resort its home for three nights during the stay. Coincidentally, the road leading into Maheno is called Happy Valley Dr.