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Sir Edmund Hillary, national hero, passes away


January 11, 2008/0.58

I don’t think anyone in this country, especially those of us in the media, could not pay some form of tribute to Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, NZOM, KG, who passed away aged 88 in Auckland Hospital today.
   Sir Edmund, the ?rst man to conquer Mt Everest, is considered a national hero in New Zealand and before his death was the only living person to appear on the country’s banknotes.
   In a British expedition, New Zealand-born Hillary conquered the peak on May 29, 1953—days before Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation—with climbing partner Tenzing Norkay. Hillary was knighted in July that year.
   Born in 1919 in Tuakau, Hillary grew up in Auckland and became interested in mountain-climbing as a teenager. With his brother Rex, he was a professional beekeeper at the time of the conquest.
   After Everest, Sir Edmund reached the South Pole in 1958 and participated in the 1975 General Election in New Zealand. In 1985, he was appointed High Commissioner to India by the Labour Government.
   He was made a member of the New Zealand Order in 1987 and was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1995.
   His reputation was international, making it in to Time’s 100 heroes and icons of the 20th century.
   Sir Edmund was active in philanthropy, both in Nepal and New Zealand.
   He is survived by his second wife, June, two children and six grandchildren. His ?rst wife and daughter were killed in an air accident in Nepal in 1975.   

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Filed by Jack Yan

2 thoughts on ‘Sir Edmund Hillary, national hero, passes away

  1. This epic poem, “Tuakau Honey Jar First To Ever Rest” is a tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, the global inspirational leader. The epic poem is found on my website along with my condolences to his family and the people of New Zealand

    Paterika Hengreaves
    Author of the book, “Poetry for all Seasons: Forms, Poems and Styles. Published by

  2. Sir Ed was High Commissioner of NZ in india for many years! India has lost a true friend! We miss you Sir Ed!

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