Liam Doyle, Kenieth Baumgarten, Hayley Richardt and Rhys Garland with their wreaths.
Liam Doyle, Kenieth Baumgarten, Hayley Richardt and Rhys Garland with their wreaths. BUNHEL

‘Cheeky request’ for chopper visit

IF SOMEONE told you three army helicopters had landed on a primary school oval, you'd probably think they were pulling your leg.

But for East State School students, it was an exhilarating reality.

It was an early Anzac Day celebration like never before for the Bundaberg primary school as the Kiowa choppers flew in to open the morning ceremony.

Children were pressed up against the school fence in eager anticipation as the engines wound down and the army began to exit the aircraft.

It was the servicemen's third visit to the Bundaberg primary school and they were made right at home as students excitedly welcomed them like greatly missed family members.

The visit was thanks to East State School teacher librarian Paul McMillen who wrote a letter to Defence Minister David Johnston and requested the visit.

With his hopeful request yesterday becoming a reality, Mr McMillen described the experience as "awesome".

"I'd always dreamed that one day I'd like to get a helicopter to the school," Mr McMillen said.

"This has to be an amazing outcome for 'a cheeky request' from a regional state primary school."

East State School captain Laura-Jade Bright described the visit as a real privilege.

"It's a very, very amazing opportunity," she said.

"We appreciated what they did for us during the floods."

Following the school's Anzac Day service, Miss Bright and her co-captains were treated to the first tour of the aircraft by Kiowa military Captain Michael.

"It was very amazing, there was so many buttons; you don't know what's for what."

Miss Bright said she'll never see her school oval the same way again.



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