Friday, July 12, 2019

Sir Edmund Hillary | Centenary Celebrations

2019 is the year of the birth centenary of Sir Edmund Hillary the first man to climb Mount Everest along with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

To celebrate the centenary a number of events have been planned throughout the world. In Kolkata on July 20th 2019, The Himalayan will present a series of illustrated talks on Sir Ed.

 Bhanu Banerjee will present an illustrated talk on his years with Sir Edmund from 1960 to 1963 in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal. This will be preceded by a presentation of historical photographs on the life and times of Sir Edmund by Sujoy Das. Piyali Basak will share her unique experiences on Manaslu (2018) and Everest (2019). All are welcome  and to attend this talk do send an email to

In Kathmandu at the historic office of the Himalayan Trust Nepal there will be a programme on July 20th 2019 from 10 am to 12 noon followed by lunch.

And a number of events have been planned in New Zealand around the same time.

The activity led by the Hillary Centenary Steering Committee begins with an event at Parliament on 23 July, hosted by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, for Hillary family members and a range of other distinguished guests including politicians, ambassadors, business leaders and members of the creative and academic communities.

At the event, New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh will perform her new poem about Sir Ed called Hillary’s Step that is featured on an installation of the same name that was unveiled at Christchurch Airport last week.

NZ Post is also issuing commemorative stamps for the centenary, available from 23 July, which feature images of Sir Ed on his various expeditions and endeavours. Sir Ed was last featured on a stamp just over a decade ago, shortly after he passed away.

This is followed on 27 July by the world premiere of a full-length symphony composed by Gareth Farr in honour of Sir Ed, titled Roar of a Thousand Tigers, performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey at the Christchurch Town Hall’s Lilburn Auditorium. Commissioned by the Hillary Centenary Steering Committee with the support of Creative New Zealand, the title of Farr’s symphony comes from Tenzing Norgay’s evocative description of the violent winds on Mt Everest.

1 comment:

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