Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary is a great New Zealander who everyone should look up too.
- Born 20 July 1919, in Auckland.
- Had first experience of the mountains on a class trip to Mount Ruapehu.
- Went to university for two years but left to join his father and brother in the family bee-keeping business.
- In 1939 climbed his first mountain (Mount Olivier) in the Southern Alps.
- Joined the air force in 1943 as a navigator. Spent spare time climbing in the Southern Alps as much as he could.
- 1949 climbed in the Austrian and Swiss Alps.
- 1951 joined NZ expedition to Himalayas, then joined British team exploring the south-western side of Mount Everest and looking for a possible route to the summit.
- 1953 joined British team led by Colonel Hunt in attempt on Everest.
- 29 May 1953 Hillary and the Sherpa climber, Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest at about 11.30 am.
- After the Everest expedition Hillary married Louise Rose. Family of one boy, Peter, and two girls, Sarah and Belinda.
- 1955 led New Zealand support team for British Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Vivian Fuchs.
- 1960 led expedition to Himalayas to hunt for the yeti and research effects of high altitude on climbers.
- Set up Himalayan Trust in 1964 to build schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people in Nepal.
- 1975 wife Louise and daughter Belinda killed in plane crash in Nepal.
- 1978 led expedition to follow the Ganges River to its source.
- 1984 became NZ High Commissioner to India.
- 1987 made a member of the Order of New Zealand.
- Remarried 1990.
- 1995 awarded the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.
- 2003 returned to Nepal for the festivities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest.
- Died 11 January 2008
The Loss of a legend
Prime Minister Helen Clark said on the 11th that the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary is a profound loss to New Zealand.
"My thoughts are with Lady Hillary, Sir Edmund’s children, wider family, and close friends at this sad time," Helen Clark said.
"Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked the bastard off' as he said after reaching the summit, but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity.
Tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary
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