TWIN VERSIONS: Olds Engineering CEO Peter Olds (left) and the Historical Village’s John Anderson with the Maheno’s original bell and the replica.
TWIN VERSIONS: Olds Engineering CEO Peter Olds (left) and the Historical Village’s John Anderson with the Maheno’s original bell and the replica. Alistair Brightman

Dinner set to toast legacy of Maheno

FRASER COAST historical enthusiasts will commemorate 110 years since the launch of the ship Maheno with a function tonight.

Almost 300 people, including historical society members, politicians, school representatives and councillors will meet at dinner tonight at the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay, as they commemorate the significance of the Maheno, whose rusting remains now lie on Fraser Island.

In a special presentation, Beach House owner Warren Persal will officially hand over a replica of the Maheno's bell to president of the Hervey Bay Historical Society John Anderson.

Beach House events manager Genna Lesmond said the event came about by accident.

"The president of the historical society was having a chat with Warren, who offered to purchase the bell and hold onto it until the anniversary," Ms Lesmond said.

The Maheno was launched in 1905 and was quickly labelled "the slowest turbine steamer", but after being contracted with a New Zealand company, she established Trans-Tasman speed records in both directions.

She was used as a hospital ship in World War I and was sent to Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

In 1935, the Maheno was destined to be scrapped in Japan, but on the voyage over she ran aground on Fraser Island during a cyclone.

An exhibition of her history will open on July 10 in conjunction with the 80th anniversary since her stranding on the island.

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