Helping to immortalise Sir John Walker

Ian Kuperus at the Sir John Walker statue unveiling

Helping to immortalise Sir John Walker

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The founder of the company which powers Smart Donation was only too happy to contribute towards the fundraising effort for the Sir John Walker statue.

Ian Kuperus (pictured above with Keith MacKinlay from MacKinlay Dennison and Associates) was on hand to witness its unveiling in Manurewa recently.

The life-size bronze statue captures the moment Sir John won gold in the 1500 metres at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

It is the work of sculptor Joanne Sullivan. Fittingly, it faces his old Manurewa Central School.

The statue cost around $160,000 and was funded by the Sir John Walker Legacy Trust.

Ian’s connection

During its fundraising effort, the Sir John Walker Legacy Trust received a contribution from the Wilberforce Foundation, of which Ian is co-founder.

“The story of Sir John Walker’s achievement has long been an inspiration to me,” says Ian.

“The humble but absolute dedication to success is a testament to his character and is something that I’ve always admired. Sir John came from very modest circumstances, but with passion and a huge amount of hard work, he went on to achieve such an amazing feat. A powerful example for us all.”

Smart Donation is powered by Ian’s company Tax Management NZ.

About Sir John Walker

Sir John broke the world record for the mile in Göteborg, Sweden in 1975 with a time of three minutes, 49.4 seconds. This bettered the previous record (three minutes, 51 seconds) set by Filbert Bayi.

A year later, he broke the record for the 2000 metres.

Sir John also served as a councillor on the Manukau City Council following his athletics career. He is now part of the Manurewa-Papakura ward on the Auckland Council.

He received a knighthood for services to sport and the community in 2009. The 65-year-old suffers from Parkinson’s disease, being diagnosed in the 1990s.