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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Anthony Walker: A lasting legacy
By Julia Houston
BBC News Liverpool

Anthony Walker - pic from theanthonywalkerfoundation.com
Anthony was murdered in a racist attack in his local park
A year since teenager Anthony Walker was murdered in a racist attack in his local park, his baby niece still calls out his name.

It was on 29 July last year that the 18-year-old was killed with an ice axe in McGoldrick Park in Huyton, Merseyside.

Cousins Michael Barton, 20, and Paul Taylor, 17, were convicted of the killing, and Anthony's family, as devout Christians, have since spoken publicly about their willingness to forgive.

Anthony may be gone, but he certainly is not forgotten.

Rather than feel bitterness for those who took Anthony away from them, Gee, 49, and Anthony's sister Dominique, 21, are setting up a charity in his honour.

The Anthony Walker Foundation aims to promote racial harmony among young people.

Gee Walker still lives in the quiet, leafy town on the outskirts of Liverpool.

Anthony lived at home with his mother when he was killed.

Huyton is predominantly white with a mix of comfortable semi-detached and Victorian houses as well as local authority estates.

Gee Walker
I'm not condoning what they've done
Gee Walker

Speaking about Anthony's niece, Gee said: "I've got a little baby in the house. She was barely one when he (Anthony) left and she still looks around for her uncle.

"So I know that children, you've got to train them, and they understand more than we give them credit for.

"So if we start training them as young as possible hopefully we will educate them about people's differences and encourage them to be tolerant. We are hoping to go into schools to educate children and their parents alongside them.

"We're working hard to get the Anthony Walker Foundation off the ground," Gee said.

"It's been a lot of hard work but they're all working tirelessly behind the scenes.

"My hope is that people don't forget this wonderful young man, my son Anthony.

"You know when I chose to forgive, I'm not condoning what they've done, don't get me wrong, they've done something wrong, but we chose to forgive because we're trying to live by the word of God."

Dominique Walker is a driving force behind the foundation
The Walker family plan to teach children about racial harmony

The foundation has already hosted a lecture with the National Union of Teachers on promoting racial harmony and there are plans to visit schools to talk to children about tolerating people's differences.

Gee and Dominique are also setting up the Annual Anthony Walker Festival, which will be held at the Greenbank Sports Academy & Sefton Park, Liverpool, on the weekend of 12 August.

The festival seeks to promote community relations among young people in Liverpool and nationwide.

Organisers hope to hold a football and basketball tournament, showcase live music and host workshops on racial harmony.

Since Anthony's murder, Gee has said she has been pleasantly surprised at the community spirit in Huyton.

"I had no idea there was so many good people around here," she said.

"We're busy. I've got a local vicar, he deals with the emotional side, I think emotions are still running high."

Anthony Walker
His niece still calls out his name

She said the first anniversary of Anthony's murder on Saturday would be a difficult day.

"If someone offered us a rocket to the moon I think we'd be the first in the queue, as that day is not something we're looking forward to," she said.

"We're running but I suppose it will catch up with us.

"I know it will be difficult, but as Anthony said we can do all things to Christ and we're making those words into our lives, and we're living by them now, because it's our lifeline and we're hanging onto those words to give us strength for that day."

Gee says she hopes to meet her son's killers to try to understand what made them carry out the murder.

Until then, the family will find hope through their faith.






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