I never met Ed Hillary but his life, his acts and his legacy are a part of every Kiwi’s national identity. In lieu of a portrait this image seems fitting as shows Aoraki Mt Cook which he first climbed in 1948.
Goodbye, to a Kiwi Icon who died today.
On top of the world: Ed Hillary @ NZHistory.net.nz
The life of Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)
The legendary mountaineer, adventurer and philanthropist – whose familiar, craggy face beams out from the $5 note – is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived.
His 1953 ascent of Mt Everest, the planet’s highest peak, brought him worldwide fame – literally overnight. Dozens of daring adventures followed, including the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957–58 and a 1977 jet-boat journey up the Ganges River. International lecture tours, books and TV documentaries cemented Hillary’s status as a global celebrity.
Of greater significance, perhaps, was his humanitarian contribution to the Sherpa people of the Himalayas. For decades from the 1960s Hillary and supporters raised funds and built schools, hospitals and other facilities in the mountains.
He also enjoyed a successful spell as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India in the 1980s. Despite his remarkable achievements, and moments of personal tragedy, Ed Hillary is also remembered for his humility and generosity. The quiet Auckland beekeeper who had stood on ‘the roof of the world’, as well as the North and South Poles, seemed to be the quintessential ‘down to earth’ Kiwi…(Continues)