Our Global Superstar Jonah, immortalised on large-scale mural.

Our beloved superstar Jonah, along with two of New Zealand’s biggest sporting greats have been immortalised on a large-scale mural painting unveiled last Wednesday.

All Black legends Jonah Lomu and Sir Michael Jones with Yachtsman Sir Peter Blake all feature on the mural painted by artist couple Charles and Janine Williams to commemorate 120 years of local clothing brand Canterbury New Zealand.

Gathering at its headquarters Wednesday morning, staff officiated the unveiling of the final artwork along with Lomu’s wife Nadene, her two sons Dhyreille (13) and Brayley (15), and her parents Lois and Mervyn Quirk. Sharing the emotional moment with her family, Nadene Lomu reflected upon the connection the brand had with her late husband, considered by many to be one of the greatest rugby players of all time.

“It’s been a bit of an emotional process,” she said. “Anytime when Jonah is involved it’s always an emotional journey for us. Even though we’re nearing the nine-year mark since his passing, it doesn’t feel like it. The way I keep up with these emotions is seeing the growth of my children. Canterbury has been respectful during this process, sending me updates along the way as the mural has progressed. It’s been a special journey.”

The three portraits are rendered in black and white, supported by striped backgrounds reflective of their careers, and anchored in the centre by the 120-year Canterbury logo featuring a detailed Kiwi in profile. The Kiwi mirrors the Canterbury logo’s distinctive three Kiwi design. The mural took a month to complete.

“Charles and Janine captured the essence of these three great New Zealanders,” said Luke Doddrell, the brand’s senior VP of Canterbury Global.

“When you think about the mark these three iconic Kiwis have made, they all came from humble beginnings. What we know about them is their toughness — but it’s a toughness of mental resilience and perseverance. They each faced adversity throughout their careers and journeys in life. One thing they share in common is they changed the lives of individuals and communities they came into contact with, both locally and globally. So to honour them in this way is truly special.”

“Where you take things is always remembering and encapsulating the earlier part of the journey which is always so important,” said Nadene Lomu. “Sharing this with my children now is special, along with remembering the people and the brands that were there to support you in those early years. To be able to come full circle and to now stand here with our children who are not far off from the age Jonah was when he started playing rugby is really great.”

“The bones of this brand is based on quality — that has stood the test of time,” explained Canterbury’s global head of marketing, AJ Moriarty. “Even when our tenure ended with the All Blacks, we still maintained a strong relationship with these icons. All these guys are part of our foundation.”

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