Special Anzac services to commemorate centenary
THE ringing of a bell from a rusting Fraser Island shipwreck and the unveiling of a life-size statue of the first man ashore at Gallipoli will bring the spirit of the Anzac alive at the upcoming centenary commemorations.
The Fraser Coast will become a focal point for national pride on Anzac Day with the two poignant memorials to occur at 4.28am on April 25 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
In Maryborough, a life-size statue of local hero Lieutenant (later Major) Duncan Chapman, the first man to step ashore at Anzac Cove, will be unveiled with a Dawn of the Anzacs service including a sound and light show.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the $60,000 bronze tribute in Queens Park, Maryborough, would become a national monument.
"This is a very exciting project to recognise and honour Maryborough-born Duncan Chapman and the other men who left our shores to fight in the Anzac campaign and in later battles."
The unveiling service will include a narrated sound and light show called "The Dawn of the Anzacs" depicting the landing at Gallipoli, with the role of Duncan Chapman being read by his great nephew.
Stage two of the memorial project will include an eight-metre high depiction of the three ridges of Anzac Cove with information panels and motion-activated recordings about the Gallipoli campaign and battles of the Western Front.
The flag carried ashore by Duncan Chapman at Gallipoli will be brought to Maryborough on Thursday. The flag was donated by Lt Chapman's younger sister, Clara, after he was killed in action during the Pozieres campaign on the Western Front.
Relatives of Lt Duncan Chapman are travelling from Victoria to see the unveiling of the statue in Maryborough, before taking the flag to the Brisbane march for Anzac morning.
On Fraser Island, another moving ceremony will bring to life the links of Fraser Island's famous Maheno shipwreck to Gallipoli and the Anzacs.
The SS Maheno, which ran aground on Fraser Island during a storm in 1935, served in a number of dramatic mercy missions as a New Zealand hospital ship in the Dardanelles campaign.
This Anzac Day, school students from the small New Zealand island town of Maheno - after which the ship was named - will ring the ship's original bell alongside the shipwreck as dawn breaks on the island. A replica of the bell made by Peter Olds of Olds Engineering will become a lasting memorial on Fraser Island.
- The first Dawn of the Anzacs sound and light tribute is at 5.15am on April 24, the morning before Anzac Day.
- The official presentation will begin at the Duncan Chapman statue at 4.45am on Anzac Day, dovetailing into the traditional dawn service at the Cenotaph.
- The Maheno Anzac Day Centenary Commemoration on Fraser Island is open to the public. It will be held at 10am and finish at 11am.