Hillary's legacy a bond between nations

By Amelia Wade

Sarah Hillary restoring a tanka painting. Photo / Supplied
Sarah Hillary restoring a tanka painting. Photo / Supplied

Sir Edmund Hillary's legacy still makes his daughter proud every day.

Not just for his expedition to the top of the world and the generations of adventurers it inspired, but for his commitment to Nepal and the Nepalese and the deep relationship forged between our nation and theirs.

Sarah Hillary yesterday reflected on what her father accomplished exactly 60 years ago.

"It really put New Zealand on the map. It's a physical feat but it's also a mental feat ... It showed that we had tremendous climbing skills and that's still the case today, that's a tremendous legacy.

"And of course my father was able to use that fame to help the people of Nepal, which has had an ongoing effect on our relationship with Nepal. That is a wonderful thing to celebrate."

Sir Edmund's son Peter is in London for the Queen's diamond jubilee celebration and Sarah Hillary is to speak at the Auckland Museum tonight to mark Sir Edmund's feat.

It wasn't until later in her life that Sarah Hillary understood what it meant to have Sir Ed as her father.

"Years ago I had this argument with someone who said I lived a privileged life because I equated that with being rich, which we weren't, but in fact it was privileged in terms of experience.

"And it was really brought home to me at his funeral when the streets were lined with people.

"I really felt that it was more than just my father, it was about a time and a generation and New Zealand's history.

"It's much greater than one person, really, but I'm still very proud of my father."

- NZ Herald

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