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Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman says he won’t forget the look on Joseph Sullivan’s face when he unwrapped the road sign for Joseph Sullivan Drive in Picton.
The joint Mayoral-Picton Rowing Club reception was held in Picton last weekend, after the big public welcome for the Olympian.
The crowd rose to their feet, breaking into cheers when Joseph held up the road sign.
"I began planning this the moment I saw that race because Joseph had done something very special for Marlborough – delivering the first gold medal in the district’s history. That kind of achievement warrants permanent recognition," said Mr Sowman.
Mr Sowman was determined to keep the street name a surprise both for the rower and his family and the Picton Rowing Club so only a very few people were aware of the plan.
He says Joseph was genuinely lost for words but there was a big grin on his face.
"As Mayor, it’s not often you get to do something that is so genuinely satisfying. But this young man has made sporting history in Marlborough and that’s something I wanted to see acknowledged."