Honouring Olympian & Philanthropist Edwin Flack
15 October 2013 at 9:38 am
Noted philanthropist and Australia’s first Olympic champion, Edwin Flack (1873–1935) has been commemorated with a bronze statue depicting his athletic achievements at the Athens Olympics in 1896.
|Nigel Peck AM, businessman, philanthropist and adventurer; Louis Laumen, sculptor; Roy Kelley, Headmaster at Melbourne Grammar School.|
Edwin Flack is remembered as a generous philanthropist, through the work of the Marian and EH Flack Trust, established in 1935. Flack was born in London in 1873 and migrated to Australia with his parents, Joseph and Marian Flack, in 1874.
After graduating from Melbourne Grammar School in 1890, Flack forged a successful accounting career, partnering with his father to found Flack & Flack, Chartered Accountants, which was one of the foundations for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
After his death, the Marian and EH Flack Trust was established to fund medical research, aged care services, services for disadvantaged families, and community health projects. The Trust also provides opportunities for education – since 1939, the Trust has funded the Edwin Flack Scholarship, which enables a country student of outstanding talent to study at Melbourne Grammar School.
As well as his philanthropic legacy, Flack was Australia’s first Olympic champion. He represented Australia at the 1896 Athens Olympics, winning two gold medals, in the 800-metre and 1500-metre events. He also won a bronze medal in tennis and made an admirable attempt at the marathon. Flack died in 1935, and his medals, memorabilia and diaries are on display at the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In recognition of Flack’s achievements, a statue has been erected at Edwin Flack Park, Melbourne Grammar School’s sporting grounds in Port Melbourne. The statue is a gift to the School from philanthropist, businessman and adventurer Nigel Peck AM (who graduated from Melbourne Grammar School in 1945).
“Melbourne Grammar School is proud to celebrate the achievements of Edwin Flack, one of our most accomplished Old Melburnians. His achievements demonstrate the commitment and hard work that we hope to instil in all our students.,” Headmaster at Melbourne Grammar School, Roy Kelley said.
The statue was designed and constructed in bronze by acclaimed Melbourne sculptor Louis Laumen. Laumen is known for the larger-than-life bronze sculptures in the Parade of Champions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.