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After studying numerous still shots and video clips, design has been selected from paused video action. To make sculpture portrait realistic, first born son John O'Keefe has assisted as model and advisor.

Johnny O’Keefe Website.

Dr. Alex Koloszy, CDVA, sculptor (of Hungarian origin from Transylvania, today Romania) is a leading Australian Sculptor, who arrived in Australia December 1958 and Naturalized Australian citizen since 1964. His Tribute to Johnnny O'keefe was unveiled on 10th of June 2004 at Twin Towns Service Club, Coolangatta, Tweed Heads. This is a three metre tall bronze of the late Johnny O’Keefe “The Wild One”, King of Australian Rock and Roll, with base a 5 metre tall monument.

Website: www.kolozsy.com.au

Johnny O’Keefe Statue Story

Johnny O’Keefe touched the lives of people not only throughout Australia but all around the world.

The “Wild One” as he became affectionately known first stamped Australia’s name on the International music map with his now infamous classic songs like “Shout”, “She’s my Baby”, “So Tough” and “She wears my Ring”. JOK’s hit recordings marked the beginning of a career that saw him go on to become one of the greatest entertainers this country has ever seen, however for Johnny, his family and friends it was to become a career that was in every way far too short

Johnny O’Keefe may be gone but due to a small dedicated group who formed the Johnny O’Keefe Memorial Association Inc., the memory of JOK will now continue for generations to come in the form of a 3.3 metre tall bronze statue that now stands proudly on the boardwalk adjacent to Twin Towns Services Club at the Queensland / NSW border

World renowned Hungarian refugee Dr Sandor (Alex) Kolozsy had dedicated his life to immortalize the “King” of Rock N Roll after being fascinated with JOK’s music style soon after arriving in Australia in the late 1950’s

Dr Kolozsy’s final decision to sculpt the bronze image was prompted by a surge of support from a high profile Sydney celebrity who at that time wanted to pay homage to the pioneer of Australian Rock N Roll music. After spending $20,000 of his own money on materials (and not to mention the labour intensive time) to create such a monument Alex was disappointed to find that the support promised to him had now waned

At the same time Alex was informed by Waverley Council that the intended site for the JOK statue at Bondi Beach in NSW was unavailable which inturn again caused disappointment and frustration to his historical project

Dr Kolozsy began sculpturing the statue in 1998 after meeting Johnny O’Keefe at Bondi Beach some 30 years earlier. After many years of frustration trying to gain support for his project and whilst the clay mould of his dreams began to deteriorate, Alex was about to turn his back on his passionate project and the hundred’s of hours he had injected into the preparation of the project. However a phone call between Alex and John Preston (Vicky O’Keefe’s manager at the time) saw the tide turn shortly after.

Through John Preston’s extensive contacts in the entertainment industry a meeting was arranged of business associates and the JOK Memorial Association was formed. This unique group consisted of Phil Villiers (Marketing Manager of Twin Towns Services Club) Barry McNamara (Executive Officer of the Wintersun Rock N Roll Festival) John Preston (John Preston Special Events) Bernie Stahl (Stahl Management) John O’Keefe jnr, daughter Vicky O’Keefe and JOK’s original drummer John “Catfish” Purser who set to work to raise the necessary funds to save Dr Kolozsy’s project

The initial cash injection was generously offered by Coolangatta’s “Café” owner Greg Walker who put forward a cash advance of $5,000 which allowed the JOK Association to have a fibreglass membrane built to protect the statue until such time as the Association could raise additional funds to caste the statue in bronze of which a budget of $100,000 was required to complete this project

Twin Towns Services Club hosted the first of many fund raising concerts that included some of Australia’s finest entertainers who generously donated their time to assist with the fund raising and pay tribute to the late and great King of Rock N Roll, Johnny O’Keefe

The JOK Association was also greatly assisted financially by a local businessman who wishes to remain anonymous but who contributed a large cash injection to ensure the project would be completed

The JOK Association moved rapidly to assist Dr Kolozsy and to ensure the completion of the statue in readiness for the unveiling ceremony

Dr Kolozsy’s passion to put his hand to clay and mould the image of Johnny O’Keefe became a six (6) year project that culminated in the official unveiling ceremony that took place on Thursday 10th June 2004 and attracted thousands of JOK fans who travelled from all around Australia to witness Alex Kolozsy’s dream become an emotional reality.

Source: http://johnnyokeefestatue.com

"It looks superb and really seems to capture the spirit and movement of the "Wild One". Congratulations on your achievement"
Peter Cox, Curator (Powerhouse Museum) in reference to unveiling of Johnny O'Keefe.

JOK