GALLERY: Cross-Tasman mateship spans centuries through Maheno
FRASER Island's iconic Maheno shipwreck provided the backdrop for a truly moving moment yesterday.
As part of Anzac Day ceremonies on the island, 16 visitors from the former war hospital ship's namesake town, Maheno in New Zealand, performed the haka.
Eight school children with their parents and teacher travelled from to not only pay their respects to their fallen forefathers but also strengthen the mateship between our two countries, first forged more than a century ago.
This is the third time the Maheno School has sent a contingent over since 2015 for the first memorial service held on Fraser Island.
Acting principal Stella Josephs said the students, aged between 11 and 13 years, were proud to take part in the event.
"It is such an honour, we have made some marvellous friendships and have some really great relationships and connections through this whole experience," she said.
"We have seen so many different photos of the Maheno, from its days as a luxury liner through to when it operated as a New Zealand hospital ship and now we have seen it as a wreck.
"Anzac Day means a lot of things to us.
"It means friendship between Australia and New Zealand, with remembering those who have come before us who have set fire to themselves for the freedom we have today, (which is) always at the forefront of our minds.
"Not everyone died but a lot of the people who went lost a special part of themselves in war and it still happens today - today we pay our respects to anyone who has served."