COMMUNITY spirit has paid for a statue of the first Anzac ashore at Gallipoli in time for it to be raised in Queens Park on the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated landing.
A fundraising campaign started in Maryborough only three months ago soared past the $60,000 mark at a charity film evening at the Brolga on Sunday.
Appeal committee president Nancy Bates said the city had decided to raise funds for the Duncan Chapman statue after an initial application for a grant was rejected by the State Government.
"We could have applied to the next round but that would have been too late to unveil the statue on Anzac Day - and that 100th anniversary will be poignant," she said.
"We will be going to the State Government and other sources looking for funding for the second stage, which will be an Anzac Experience telling the story of Gallipoli and the Western Front, where Duncan Chapman was killed in the trenches at Pozieres in 1916."
RSL president Bob Evans, a member of the appeal committee, said the response had been overwhelming.
"After 100 years, Duncan Chapman will get the recognition he deserves.
"That is due to community spirit and pride within Maryborough and some tremendous support beyond the city from people who have realised that Duncan Chapman is a national icon."
Mr Evans said the committee was now focusing on the sound and light show that would herald the unveiling of the statue on Anzac Day and on the applications for government and corporate grants for the Anzac precinct that was destined to become a memorial of national significance.
"The appeal fund will remain open at the Fraser Coast Regional Council for individual donations and fundraising activities that are under way through groups.
"We still have funds to come in, so hopefully we will have enough to do Duncan justice when he is unveiled and to make successful approaches for funds for stage 2."