William Barnes to auction Mastermind chair

By Alice Lock -
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Generous: William Barnes, NZ Mastermind winner, is auctioning off his winning chair to the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust next month.
Generous: William Barnes, NZ Mastermind winner, is auctioning off his winning chair to the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust next month.

William Barnes is auctioning off the Mastermind chair to the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust next month.

"I was so impressed by his whole philosophy after watching him on Sunday and I thought if I won the chair I would put it towards what he was trying to achieve."

He said his attitude and the way he was so grateful for his upbringing and life was amazing.

"He was just such a positive guy and it really troubles me to see children with disabilities who are at risk of dying every day especially when you compare it to your own situation."

Samuel Gibson died earlier this year after falling out of his chair at the Sotheby's marathon.

Trustee Hamish Macbeth said Mr Gibson had been fundraising and training for an event in the South Island where he had hoped to raise money for Ryuki who had a similar condition.

"He was trying to get enough money so Ryuki's family could modify their house so it was wheelchair friendly."

After Mr Gibson died groups such as Havelock North Primary School and Peak Fitness got together and reached the target for Ryuki to modify his house.

"We had a lot of momentum and it was really cool that we were able to finish what Sam had started."

The Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust was introduced to capture the energy and the philosophy of Mr Gibson so they could continue to contribute to those who needed help.

Mr Macbeth said he was very grateful for Mr Barnes' idea to auction the chair for the trust.

"I think it is really cool and incredibly generous of him, we hope to give our thanks at the fundraising dinner held at Craggy Range on Friday, November 11."

Mr Barnes said he saw Mr Gibbons around Havelock North a lot and his wife knew the family well so it was a good fit.

"I really admired him and think the trust is an excellent way to remember Sam but also support others with disabilities."

He said he already had been offered $6000 for the chair so felt that should be the starting bid.

"I will put the chair on Trade Me on October 24th and we will go from there."

Mr Macbeth said Lisa Tamati, Haisley O'Leary and Neil Wagstaff were also doing a relay from Hawera where Mr Gibson was born to Havelock North where he lived, in support of the trust.

"Lisa Tamati a renowned Auckland marathon runner is taking part, as she was supposed to run with Samuel when he set out to do the Alps to Ocean."

The relay begins on Thursday, November 10 and concludes with a fundraising dinner held at Craggy Range Winery on the Friday night.

All proceeds from the evening are going straight to the Samuel Gibson Memorial Trust.

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