Trophy marks acts of compassion

LIFE'S DREAM: Albert Makary wants Prince William to become the patron for a Trophy of Compassion.
LIFE'S DREAM: Albert Makary wants Prince William to become the patron for a Trophy of Compassion.

A Timaru doctor has spent years creating a "trophy of compassion"- and he wants Prince William to be the patron.

Albert Makary said he had spent years "behind the scenes" trying to get the project off the ground - including arranging with the Anglican Diocese to source material from the Christ Church Cathedral.

The idea is the trophy could be awarded every year to "someone who has displayed exceptional compassion".

"Princess Diana was a model of compassion. Prince William is carrying on the legacy of his mother. He is following the same route as her," Makary said.

"He has shown not only compassion for human beings but also for animals."

Makary said the gilded trophy was based on a design by an unknown 19th century artist. He has helped create the mould for at least a dozen of them. Some of them feature the inscriptions of Prime Minister John Key and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, on slate sourced from the original Christ Church Cathedral.

Makary said he came across the original statue about 20 years ago, when it was purchased by friend and sculptor Clive Gosling. It was in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes and Pike River mine disaster that Makary felt something more could be made of it.

"New Zealand is known for its compassion around the world. We displayed so much caring and opened the doors to so many people after the Christchurch earthquakes," he said. "We have beauty competitions, we have racing competitions, we have a cup for almost everything. But we don't have a cup for compassion."

Makary said copies of the trophies could also be auctioned to raise money for charity to support countries after national disasters.

"Say if there is a Pacific island which is flooded, there are many corporations who have surplus funds. The idea is that these funds could be mobilised. I'm wanting to promote more actions of compassion.

"I don't want this to be a political thing. I tried to remain behind the scenes for so long, but there is a golden chance for this to happen, with Prince William in Christchurch next week. I want it to be a distinctly New Zealand trophy to give to the world. For Prince William to be the patron would be my dream," he said.

The Timaru Herald