McCaw announces new scholarship at UC

27 August 2019

The Chalky Carr Trust has announced a project supporting those bound together by cancer. The Chalky Carr Trust Patron, Gemma McCaw, announced the inaugural recipient of the Chalky Carr Trust Scholarship. University of Canterbury first-year Bachelor of Criminal Justice student Mario Williams has been presented with the first Chalky Carr Trust Scholarship at an official ceremony, in front of family and friends of Chalky Carr.

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    The first Chalky Carr Trust Scholar, University of Canterbury Bachelor of Criminal Justice student Mario Williams (second from left), with Richie and Gemma McCaw (centre) and members of the Williams family.

The Chalky Carr Scholarship has been set up in conjunction with the University of Canterbury Foundation specifically to help those impacted directly or indirectly by cancer. The charity's vision is to make a practical impact for someone living with a cancer diagnosis or their family members who need support through the journey.

“Mario is fine young man who richly deserves this award. He has been described as a trooper, uncomplaining, valued highly at Shirley Boys’ High School even before he was diagnosed with cancer,” Chalky Carr Trust Board Chairman Brett Gamble says.

“He wants to learn, wants to help everyone, including supporting team mates on trips away even when too unwell to play sport himself”.

Mario lost his mother in 2012 leaving his father to deal with the double tragedy of losing his wife and his son being diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

“His referee was genuinely nervous that she made a good impression on his behalf and there was a tear in her voice when she described how proud she was of him and his efforts,” Gamble says.

UC Foundation director Jo Dowling welcomed the new scholarship.

“The Chalky Carr Trust Scholarship is a fitting memorial to a remarkable man, which will provide a living legacy that will help future UC students achieve their life goals for many generations to come,” she says.

The scholarship marks the next chapter of the Trust’s story and it is intended to be offered to a minimum of one UC student per annum at a value of $10,000 in perpetuity.

About Chalky Carr

Originally from England, Chalky Carr served as a Royal Marine Commando and Royal New Zealand Navy officer. A hero to many, he was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal by the Governor–General for his actions saving lives from the collapsed CTV building in the immediate aftermath of the February 2011 quake.

Chalky was also passionate about rugby. As well as being involved in Canterbury teams, he was a much loved and respected coach of young players at the Christchurch Rugby Football Club. He was working as the All Blacks Logistics Manager when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016.

In the face of terminal cancer, with the help of family and friends, Chalky set up the Chalky Carr Trust. The charity's vision is to raise funds to make a practical impact for a person living with a cancer diagnosis or their family members who may need support through the journey. His family and friends ask that Chalky is remembered with a light heart for he was a fabulous, loving, funny man who continues to help others through the Trust he founded.

About the Trust

Chalky Carr received treatment in Christchurch Hospital’s Oncology unit and it was there he observed the experiences of other patients and their families. He decided he wanted to help. With the help of many, including Chalky’s close friend All Black and Crusader Sam Whitelock, the Trust first raised $100,000 for young Isla Lunn, who lost her mother to cancer. The next goal for the Trust was to raise another $100,000+ to deliver the “1st XV Chalky's Chairs” for those undergoing treatment, “bound together by cancer”. These chairs are in place and in use already. His vision also continues to live out as Chalky’s Cars a partnership with Blue Star Taxis where the Trust provides free and subsidised taxi services to take patients to and from treatments. Chalky always said the simple things, even sucking on a Minti', can make a difference in chemo. His Trust aims to make the worst of times easier for those brave patients undergoing treatment, hoping to make it more endurable.


Carolyne Grant


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