Peter Olds from Olds Engineering with the Maheno bell which the company will replicate twice - once for Fraser Island and again for the Queensland Maritime Museum.
Peter Olds from Olds Engineering with the Maheno bell which the company will replicate twice - once for Fraser Island and again for the Queensland Maritime Museum. Valerie Horton

Olds Engineering replicating Maheno shipwreck bell

THE original bell of Fraser Island's aging shipwreck, The Maheno, has been delivered under lock and code to Maryborough's Olds Engineering to be replicated.

The bell, which was once an important part of the SS Maheno during World War I and was the property of the Maheno School in New Zealand, is being prepared for the production of replica castings at the Maryborough foundry.

Olds Engineering's Peter Olds said permission had to be granted by the New Zealand Government to let it come out of the country.

"The bell on any ship is a sacred item and this ship is quite a legend - it is a very significant item of the bond between New Zealand and Australia which started in World War I and how the Anzac name came about," Olds said.

"The Maheno rescued thousands of people and this bell would have been heard on shore as well as by all those on board."

Mr Olds said they were amazed at how fragile the bell was and was showing many visible cracks.

It came in a box with two combination locks.

"The bell arrived in Brisbane, via ship from New Zealand, on Friday and was hand-delivered by the freight company manager Tony Gardiner the next day.

"We are preparing to cast two replicas - one will go on Fraser Island and the other to the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane."

Students from Maheno School will visit Fraser Island to ring the bell on Anzac Day.



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