Civic honour for Mary

editorial image

LISBURN City Council has agreed to support a proposal which will see a bronze bust of Dame Mary Peters being made and placed in the council’s headquarters.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the council Alderman Allan Ewart proposed that “Lisburn City Council erects a Bronze Bust of Dame Mary Peters in the Rotunda of our Civic Headquarters in Lisburn and unveils it at a Civic Reception to mark the occasion on this the 40th Anniversary of her winning a gold medal at the Munich Olympics”.

Receiving full support the proposal was seconded by Mr Thomas Beckett who said it would be a “tremendous launch pad” for Lisburn being chosen as the European City of Sport for 2013.

Mr Ewart said: “2012 - Our Place - Our Time has been a great year in Northern Ireland. We have had the opening of the new iconic building the Titanic Centre, the opening of the new visitor centre at the Giants Causeway and the Irish Open Golf Championship at Portrush, to name a few. We also had Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy help Europe win the Ryder Cup in the United States, but I believe what captured the imagination of the public was the Olympic and Paralympic Games where many performances stood out as great sporting achievements.”

Mr Ewart said he was keen that this honour would happen before the end of the year. He said: “Sometimes people have been remembered when they are no longer with us, I think of Professor Frank Pantridge’s statue outside our Civic Buildings erected after he had died. So I think the time is right that Lisburn erects a lasting reminder for generations to come of ‘Our Mary’ for the remarkable achievement at Munich in 1972.

“When we mention Olympics in our City, one name comes to mind that of Dame Mary Peters. It was 40 years ago that Mary won a Gold Medal at the Olympics in the Pentathlon in Munich. What makes this feat most impressive was in the early 1970s there were no dieticians or sport psychologists to help the athletes, but it was down to will power, fitness and determination.

“Mary is a role model for any budding athletes to persevere to be the best they can with determination to succeed in their particular sport. Mary has continued in putting something back into the sport being Manager of the Olympic Ladies Team, and an Olympic Ambassador and succeeding in getting the Mary Peters Track in Northern Ireland, established to help young athletes progress to the world stage,” he said.

Mr Ewart continued: “Mary also won Gold and Silver medals at Commonwealth Games Championships. Many accolades have been showered upon Mary, decorated by the Queen on three occasions, appointed Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and Lisburn City Council conferred the Freedom of the City upon her. This year Edgeware Station was named Mary Peters Station for the London Olympics.”