Monday, January 21, 2008

RIP Sir Ed

"Well, George, we finally knocked the bastard off."

Before Chichester, before Bernard M. and Sir Robin, before Dame Ellen and another Francis... I had a hero. Not famous for a sailing achievement but nevertheless a man who inspired a little skinny kid in England by doing something nobody had ever done before...

I wasn't yet five years old but I remember the summer of 1953 vividly. England crowned a new queen and on the same day the news broke that a New Zealander and a Sherpa were the first to climb the highest mountain on the planet.

Sir Edmund Hillary died a few days ago and today his state funeral was held in New Zealand. His wish was for his ashes to be spread across Waitemata Harbour.

RIP Sir Edmund. You knocked the bastard off and I will always remember.


EVK4 said...

I've been confounded that more people didn't stop and honor this man among my acquaintances and friends. Truly a great adventurer.

Tillerman said...

And its amazing that not one member of the British royal family bothered to attend his funeral. On that June day back in 1953 it seemed that he was launching the new Elizabethan age just as much as the new queen.

And I still can't quite get over the fact that my school years spanned the times when man first stood on the top of Everest and on the surface of the moon. What a time to be young!

EVK4 said...

Ahem, that is if you believe that the moon landing is real.

Tillerman said...

Dude, I saw it live on TV and the leading actor muffed his only line so it must have been real. You gotta believe.

Pat said...

Perhaps there simply wasn't time to hire a royal to attend the funeral. Or perhaps Maori royalty was more appropriate to the dignity of the occasion.

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