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Sir Edmund Hillary dies

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by disassembled, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb the world's highest mountain Mount Everest, died early this morning at the age of 88, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said.

    Hillary, who with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of the 8,848-metre Himalayan mountain on May 29 1953, had been in increasingly frail health in recent years.

    "Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus," Clark said in a statement.

    "He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity," she said.

    Clark said the passing of Hillary was a profound loss for New Zealand.

    "The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived," she said.

    "But most of all he was a quintessential Kiwi. He was ours — from his craggy appearance and laconic style to his directness and honesty. All New Zealanders will deeply mourn his passing."

    She paid tribute to Hillary's work later in his life to support development for the Sherpa people of the Himalayas, building schools and hospitals.

    "His lifetime's humanitarian work there is of huge significance and lasting benefit."

    News of the success of the British-led expedition to Everest was announced to the public on the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation on June 2.

    After Everest, Hillary embarked on another great adventure in 1957, establishing Scott Base in Antarctica and leading the first vehicles overland to the South Pole on January 3, 1958.

    "The legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary will live on. His exploits continue to inspire new generations of New Zealanders, as they have for more than half a century already," Clark said.

    His words to friend and expedition colleague George Lowe as he and Tenzing descended from the Everest summit to base camp after their successful climb, have become the most famous he ever spoke.

    "George said 'Well how did it go?' and I said, 'Well George, we knocked the bastard off'," he recalled in a later autobiography.

    Unlike many climbers, Sir Edmund had said he had no desire to have his remains left on a mountain when he died. He wanted his ashes scattered on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, the New Zealand Press Association reported.

    "To be washed gently ashore, maybe on the many pleasant beaches near the place I was born. Then the full circle of my life will be complete."


  2. Vale Sir Ed.
  3. Very sad :(
  4. very sad...........................he made it to the top of his field!!!
  5. I've had a tour of one of the schools he built in the Nepal himalayas, he's done alot to help the sherpa people.
  6. Oh sweet, we've moved from respectful mourning to the puns! Damn I love the internet.

    I didn't know him personally anyway. He seemed a bit aloof...
  7. Credit whre due the guy was a friggin legend, as with all legends of course his name will live on no doubt.
  8. His was a life well lived. RIP.
  9. He was to the Kiwis what Bradman was to us. He will be missed across the ditch.
  10. I think it's unfortunate that Hillary is regarded as 'the first man to climb Everest' when the Nepalese have been walking up and down the thing for centuries - not only that, but the Sherpa that accompanied Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, had to perform the same feat AND carry all the luggage

    regardless of that i recognize the work he put into helping the Sherpas, and for that if nothing else he was a great man, may he rest in peace