TAKING SHAPE: Ray
TAKING SHAPE: Ray "Curly" Tatnell with the first boat to arrive at the Queens Park War Memorial. Contributed

Sculpture to show the first boat off the rank

A STYLISED sculpture of the front section of a boat is being installed at the Gallipoli to Armistice memorial site in Queens Park a few metres behind the statue of Duncan Chapman.

It will represent the first Allied boat to land on the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25, 1915. From the bow, Maryborough man Lieutenant Duncan Chapman stepped in to history as the first of the original Anzacs to go into battle.

Two more boats will follow, shaped from local ironbark timber donated to the project by Ray (Curly) Tatnell of DTM Timber, the Fraser Coast's largest hardwood manufacturer.

Only the front sections of the boats, built to size, will be crafted to set the scene.

Seating in the paths and arbours around the memorial will also be built from locally sourced ironbark donated by DTM, the timber milling company established in 1987 as Dale and Meyers.

Depictions of the next two boats that landed with the first of the 9th Battalion covering force, approaching about 100 metres behind Lt Chapman's boat, will also appear at the Queen's Park site in the lead-up to the opening on July 21.

Mr Tatnell said he was pleased to be part of a project that would be a lasting legacy for the Fraser Coast.

"It's about being a good corporate citizen but it's more than that.

I feel a strong affinity with the original Anzacs, as everyone should.

"When I saw what was planned for this project and what it would mean for the Anzacs and the community I was pleased to have the chance to help make it happen.”

Ironbark was specified by the designers as a timber most suited to outdoor public art.

"It's rugged and known for its density,” said Mr Tatnell.

The three boats have been crafted by Urangan timber artist Ross Bradbury, who has created other iconic public art works around the Fraser Coast, including the whale sculptures un Hervey Bay..