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Old 01-10-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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The death of a true New Zealander

Sir Edmund Hillary, the ordinary yet great man who "knocked the bastard off" and climbed Mount Everest first, died this morning in Auckland aged 88. If anybody embodied what it means to be a New Zealander, Sir Edmund certainly did. He was an ordinary man - he often described himself as "mediocre" - who had a keen sense of adventure that drove him to explore and to climb mountains. And that took him from a small country Kiwi town to the very top of the world. His entire life stands as testimony to his good nature, from his philanthropic endeavours in the Himalaya region to never losing his genuine modesty and good humour in the face of becoming the subject of public reverence, an icon - the icon - of New Zealand. He did not even confirm that he, rather than sherpa Tenzing Norgay, was first to step foot on the very peak of Everest until over two decades after the fact. Beyond all rugby players, beyond all politicians, beyond all others - he epitomised being a Kiwi.

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy, love
The sun's so bright it leaves no shadows, only scars
Carved into stop on the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes
You run like a river runs to the sea
You run like a river to the sea


The world is now truly a lesser place. Goodbye and RIP, Sir Edmund.

20 July 1919 - 11 January 2008
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 01-10-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
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That was lovely, Axver... a very fitting tribute to an amazing man.

RIP, indeed.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:40 PM   #3
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Wonderful man, and an inspiration to all who wish to be kind, adventurous, and inspiring.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by BluRmGrl
That was lovely, Axver... a very fitting tribute to an amazing man.
Thanks. For me, this really is the loss of a childhood hero - I grew up with Sir Edmund at the top of the heap of great people. It's hard to believe he's gone.

And for anyone wondering about the quote I included near the start, it's from Sir Edmund's first words to George Lowe, the first person he and Norgay met on their way back down from the summit of Everest:

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

One of the most famous quotes in Kiwi history.

Sir Edmund was also the only living person to be put on a New Zealand banknote, the $5 note. I've one that I don't plan to ever spend.
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"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 01-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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Very, very sad. RIP.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:04 PM   #6
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Way to walk up that hill, Hill.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:34 PM   #7
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Lovely tribute for a man that did so much in life.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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Eloquent tribute, Axver. thanks for that.

On a side note--I'm going to New Zealand for the first time in my life in March. I can't wait!
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:09 AM   #9
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I'd say being the first to climb Everest was actually one of his lesser achievments. Truly a remarkable man. He lived a good life. RIP.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:36 AM   #10
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First documented white man. Not the first ever.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by catehope
First documented white man. Not the first ever.
Rubbish.

Sir Edmund was the first to "knock the bastard off", with sherpa Tenzing Norgay immediately behind him - and Sir Edmund, to his eternal credit, always emphasised that the two of them together reached the top and that the order with which they put their foot on the summit was irrelevant.

Any undocumented climber such as what you seem to be theorising would have had to have had the most extraordinary lungs in human history. In other words, I don't see how it would have been even possible for someone else to have made it before the successful Hillary/Norgay climb. Even well-funded European expeditions with the most modern mountaineering equipment of the times failed in the 1920s-30s.

We don't need people like you trying to water down this great man's achievement with racial red herrings in a thread like this anyway.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 01-11-2008, 06:01 AM   #12
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Originally posted by indra
I'd say being the first to climb Everest was actually one of his lesser achievments. Truly a remarkable man. He lived a good life. RIP.
Absolutely - his work with the Sherpa people was just exceptional. The man clearly cared about the people of that region very deeply.

Also, I've got to admit that another one of his achievements that I think is awesome, but for an entirely different reason, is that he became the first person to drive to the South Pole - and he did it in a farm tractor!

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
On a side note--I'm going to New Zealand for the first time in my life in March. I can't wait!
Awesome - which parts of the country are you visiting? I'm a North Islander myself, from just outside Wellington, but I think the South Island is easily the better island from a tourist perspective. Places like Kaikoura, Wanaka, and really anywhere in Fjordland are just stunning.
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"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 01-11-2008, 06:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver

he became the first person to drive to the South Pole - and he did it in a farm tractor!
I love that. Snow tyres? Fuck snow tyres!


Quote:
Originally posted by catehope
First documented white man. Not the first ever.
Not even worth responding to.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:21 PM   #14
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Originally posted by coolian2


I love that. Snow tyres? Fuck snow tyres!




Not even worth responding to.
Erm...is that not a response?

I'm not saying that what he did wasn't brilliant, point is give credit where credit is due. Many sherpa's came before Tenzing and Sir Edmund.

He, and Tenzing for that matter, are only the first documented. I guess I'm somewhat correcting my own original statement, fancy that.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by catehope
Many sherpa's came before Tenzing and Sir Edmund.
Er ... how? Even with the best mountaineering equipment of the 1920s-30s, nobody could make it.

Hillary and Tenzing were the first. Unless you're going to put forth the Mallory theory (which seems to be largely debunked now), I don't think there's any serious dispute that nobody had reached the summit beforehand.
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"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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