Maheno marks a connection with Queensland in true ANZAC spirit

9/11/2018 12:00 a.m.

​​Maheno Cenotaph-sourced from NZ History

​The Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher, members of the Brisbane Rotary Club, Squadron Leader Sarah Johnson from the Royal Australian Airforce and representatives of the NZ Defence Force as well as district community leaders will attend the unveiling of a plaque at Maheno Cenotaph, Williams Street Maheno this Armistice Day. The service will commence at 10.30 on Sunday 11 November and is scheduled to continue until 12pm. This will be a reciprocal ceremony following the 2017 ANZAC Day service held on Fraser Island, Australia to mark the wreck site of Her Majesty’s NZ Hospital ship HMHS MAHENO. A plaque raised then on Fraser Island was made from a piece of limestone sourced from a quarry here in North Otago. ​

“It is a special occasion as we not only commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1, but that we also share this Armistice Day with the friends from the country with which we have so much in common,” said Mayor Kircher. “We have stood beside our Australian cobbers through many conflicts, we have fought for each other, and defended each other over the past century. Together, we will remember those who sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

Because of the connections made from various trips to Fraser Island by Maheno School, pivotal in supporting and attending previous celebrations, Queensland MP Ted Sorenson is making the trip to Maheno for the unveiling. Her Majesty’s Hospital Ship (HMHS) Maheno was a commercial vessel retrofitted into a hospital ship that was publicly funded by New Zealanders in 1914. She played a vital role by providing ANZAC troops essential medical care from the battlefields of many First World War campaigns, including Gallipoli and the Somme. She either triaged injured ANZAC soldiers on the ship, transported them to nearby hospitals or repatriated wounded NZ soldiers back home. 

The actual wreck site of the HMHS Maheno is located on Maheno Beach, Fraser Island, Australia. In true ANZAC spirit, this unveiling and commemorative service will continue the tributes that have occurred previously on Anzac Day 2015 and 2017. The plaque and stone plinth will be replicas of those unveiled at the wreck site. 

All are welcome.

Page reviewed: 09 Nov 2018 3:16pm