A DESCENDANT of one of Maleny’s early pioneers is continuing the pursuit in education of wartime stories, with the tribute tradition of donating a ‘book for a school’ on Anzac Day.
Jill Lillingstone is the niece of Maleny digger Tom Lillingstone, who died in 1917 during WWI’s Battle of Passchendaele. Tom is the eldest son of William and Jessie Lillingstone, early pioneers of Maleny who, among other things, built the first school in the area (North Maleny School) in 1887.
Jill shared that she feels educating and supporting our youth is what our war heroes would have wanted.
“I would love to see this really take off with community supporting schools in memory of those whose sacrifices made this possible,” Jill said.
“To have the Maleny community supporting Maleny schools in remembrance of Maleny diggers who sacrificed for our freedom is my dream goal!”
Jill explained that Tom also had a strong interest in education, perhaps something intrinsic in him as his father, William, served as school master for 22 years. 104 years on, Tom is still playing an important part in supporting education in Maleny.
With nearly 60 years of supporting Australian RSL’s, Jill will make the trek from Melbourne to Maleny to present her donation of the acclaimed book “The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins: Australia’s Greatest Explorer” by Peter Fitzsimons. One of Wilkins’ many exploits was as an unarmed war photographer in WWI and the book is one in which Maleny State High School’s librarian Bradley Owens is looking forward to adding to the school’s collection.
Maleny RSL are inviting community groups and individuals who want to lay a Tribute to the Fallen to donate a book, in lieu of flowers, to Maleny State School, Maleny State High School, Conondale State School or The River School. Books can be purchased from Rosetta Books, wrapped and the school name clearly written on the outside of the wrapping.
Main image: Deputy Principal Glenn McIntosh receiving the book donated by Jill Lillingstone, along with School Captain Luka Pirie and Teacher Librarian Brad Owens at the Maleny RSL Cenotaph