Picton will get Sullivan sign

JARED NICOLL
Last updated 11:30 09/08/2012
Joseph Sullivan

Sign us up: A possible design for a sign that is to be erected in Picton to mark the success of Olympic gold medalist rower Joseph Sullivan

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A sign celebrating Joseph Sullivan's Olympic success and his home town will be put up in Picton.

Sullivan's sporting sponsor Graeme Rose will pay for the sign and hopes it will be put up somewhere in Picton before the gold medal-winning rower comes home in mid-August.

Marlborough District Mayor Alistair Sowman will meet Marlborough Roads representatives to decide the best place for the sign when the roading company is finished dealing with flood-related problems.

Mr Rose said he contacted the mayor yesterday to tell him he was happy to pay to have the sign made and erected.

"The design element of the sign still needs to be sorted, but we can do that, too, if need be.

"It's just something to celebrate his success and Picton."

He has supported the athlete since 2005 after hearing on the radio that Sullivan needed money to further his rowing career.

He took great pride in seeing him win a gold medal at the London Olympics. He watched the heroic row with other supporters on television at the Oxleys Rock Hotel in Picton last week.

Mr Sowman said the council fully supported the idea of a sign to highlight Sullivan's success and Picton.

He will meet Marlborough Roads representatives as soon as possible to decide the best site for the sign, likely to be on State Highway 1 at the entrance to Picton.

"We don't know where or when it will be put up yet, but we're working on it."

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said the Marlborough tourism organisation supported the idea of a sign celebrating the gold medal winner and linking him to his home town of Picton.

"Not only does it give us pride in our own town, but also in Joseph Sullivan's great achievement.

"Tourists will see it and think, 'That's a neat thing', but it will be positive for local people, too."

The Picton Rowing Club met on Tuesday night to discuss organising a celebration for when Sullivan's returned and details are expected to be finalised soon. Many people have emailed the Express to suggest a parade in Picton.

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- The Marlborough Express

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