The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Well George, We’ve knocked the bastard off!

Posted by pauaprincess on January 11, 2008

Words attributed to the late Sir Edmund Hillary as he reported his successful ascent of Mt Everest, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in May 1953.ed

Sir Edmund died this morning of a heart attack aged 88, in Auckland Hospital. He was due to be discharged today.

In addition to his triumph on Mt Everest, Sir Edmund led expeditions in the Antarctic and completed 6 Himalayan ascents. Over the years he became concerned with the plight of the Sherpas and helped to establish the Himalayan trust which build clinics, hospitals and 30 schools. He was the New Zealand High Commissioner to India for two years. He faced personal tragedy when his wife and daughter were killed in a plane crash. He was the face on our $5 note, the only living New Zealander to have been so honoured.

sir-edmund-hillary1Sir Edmund was a great New Zealander and is fondly remembered for his self deprecating manner and his concern and care for those with less. Shy and humble, he was a man we could all identify with, a tall poppy that nobody wanted cut down.

I remember learning at school that Mt Everest was conquered by a New Zealander and marvelling that our little country had produced a world first. It made me proud.

A state funeral is to be held, with a date yet to be set.

Flags have been lowered to half mast as a mark of respect all over the country, including at Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic Outpost.

Our Sir Ed.

“I like to think that I am a very ordinary New Zealander, not terribly bright perhaps but determined and practical in what I do.”

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