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Three great westies join Waitakere Walkway of Fame

Three great westies join Waitakere’s Walkway of Fame

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Three great westies join Waitakere’s Walkway of Fame

Granite plaques bearing the handprints of famous westies Oscar Kightley, Paul Radisich and Karen Walker were unveiled on Waitakere’s Walkway of Fame on Saturday.

Film and TV actor and writer, Oscar Kightley was on hand to unveil his plaque but both race-driver Paul Radisich and Karen Walker were overseas. Mr Radisich was represented by his mother Robyn and father Frank - a former racing driver. Karen Walker was represented on the day by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and MPs Pillay and Bennett.

Former inductees Graeme Douglas and Cr Assid Corban were on hand to welcome the new members, along with Mayor Bob Harvey, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, other councillors and community board members and MPs Lynne Pillay and Paula Bennett.

Mayor Harvey paid tribute to former community board member Barry Shaw, who initiated the idea of the Walkway of Fame, which came into being in the year 2000. Mr Harvey said he was disappointed to be unable to publicly present a certificate of the council's appreciation to Mr Shaw - who was unwell and unable to attend.

The Mayor also unveiled a new, hand-made book recording the first 16 inductees into the Walkway of Fame.

Oscar Kightley – a critically acclaimed writer, actor, director and television presenter, renowned for his comedy work - told the crowd that he was glad he had been brought up in Waitakere where people were just accepted and given an opportunity. He said he was honoured to be included on the walkway alongside some of Waitakere’s greats, such as All Black Michael Jones, champion discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina, musician Neil Finn and writer Maurice Shadbolt.

A former Kelston Boys High School pupil from Te Atatu, the multi-talented Oscar is probably best known as a creator of the award-winning Bro’ Town TV series and hit movie Sione’s Wedding and the comedy group The Naked Samoans.

Due to a V8 Supercar racing commitment, Henderson lad and former Liston College pupil, Paul Radisich, was unable to attend in person and instead sent along a speech read by his father. Paul Radisich is a twice world touring car champion and the only New Zealander other than Denny Hulme to have won a world title in racing cars.

“I grew up and spent the first 20 years of my life in Henderson. And you know what they say – you can take the boy out of Henderson, but you can’t take Henderson out of the boy. I am proud to be a ‘westie’ and of my Henderson roots and know it’s a big part of who I am today,” Paul says.

“I had the pleasure of visiting Henderson last year and was astounded at the growth that has taken place over recent years. It’s great to see Henderson thrive and build on its solid foundations. Of course a city is nothing without its people and it is the people of Waitakere region that make it the warm and forward-thinking place I have been proud to call home. It seems only yesterday that I was riding my bike from Sturges Road to Central Motors, which was right in the middle of Henderson at that time.

“I am honoured you have included me in the Walkway of Fame and thank you for cementing me in the heritage of Henderson.”

Karen Walker was also unable to be in New Zealand to unveil her plaque but sent a message to be read out at the ceremony, saying it was wonderful to be acknowledged for her hard work in such a public and permanent way.

“Thank you for the honour, especially wonderful as I am an adopted westie. I’m proud to have called Waitakere City my home for 12 years now and do consider it very much that; my home, special for so many reasons. I find my little retreat in the bush a wonderful antidote to the madness of the fashion business. I hope to have it be my home for many years to come. Thank you Mayor Bob Harvey and the Waitakere Council for making me feel so welcome in this city and for honouring me in this way.”

Applications are now being called from residents for nominations for the 2008 inductees to the Walkway of Fame.

Applications can be made online or by completing nomination forms that will shortly appear in local newspapers. The nomination period has now been extended to August 30.


© Scoop Media

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