Maheno aground on Fraser Island Image State Library of Queensland
Early July 2015 marks the 50th year since the beaching on Fraser Island of the TSS Maheno. Being towed by the Oonah, both ships were destined to be scrapped in Kobe, Japan. Some 100kms off the coast, the Maheno broke free in a storm and beached on Fraser Island.
Built in Scotland in 1905, she was the first triple-screwed ship built with steam turbine engines…revolutionary for the era. She held the speed record for the Tasman crossing, Australia to New Zealand.
The Maheno wreck 50 years after it ran aground, a major landmark on the Fraser Island coast
During World War One, she, was converted into a hospital ship and was at Anzac Cove at least six times, carrying many dead and dying soldiers, and served throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. The Maheno is the largest relic of Gallipoli in Australia.
She reverted to a passenger liner after the war and travelled the world until newer technology saw her taken out of service in 1934.
The museum has created a new enlarged Maheno exhibit which was officially opened on July 12, 2015.
Among the many new items on display are original chairs, beds, washstands, ship’s menus, letters and telegrams signed by the Japanese captain of the Maheno, Captain Tanaka, original oil paintings, as well as numerous smaller relics.
A cast replica of the Maheno’s original ship’s bell was rung on the day. This permanent display tells the amazing story of the Maheno and its close association with the history of Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast.
Thanks to John Missen, Helen and Don Hill from Rainbow Beach Over 60s for words and photos.