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Life and Snowpeas

January 10th, 2008

A truly great man passes. @ 06:46 pm

temper: shocked shocked

I just heard that Edmund Hillary passed away this morning in NZ, and because I'm feeling more shocked than I should be (he was 88), I feel the need to share the news.

In case you're sitting there going 'who the fuck?', this was one of the first two guys to reach the top of Mt Everest (he'd never say which of them was actually first, and it's really not that important), and a kiwi. He's on our $5 note, not exactly for that achievement, but because he followed it up with a lifetime of being what I can only describe as a Top Bloke.


Thoughts are with his family, and out to New Zealand and Nepal, since I know that he meant something huge to both countries.
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Date:January 11th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Man that's fucking depressing. I know he was getting up there but... it's a huge loss. I don't know who can replace him in terms of what he did in Nepal (and I don't claim to know anything about his impact on NZ, having never lived there, but I can only imagine how massive it must've been. Antarctica!)
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Date:January 11th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
So depressing. I think we'd all sort of convinced ourselves that he'd go on forever, somehow. And it's definitely going to be massive back home - he was such a huge figure, less for what he did than how he did it, I think, although it's definitely the stuff in Nepal that stands out for us too. He was a sort of living embodiment of everything we'd like to think we stand for, in terms of things like humility and fairness and hard work and atrociously common speaking. And he got to the top of the world doing it!

It's interesting actually - i just saw the BBC world coverage of it. Which talked about how he got there, and how the news got back just in time for Lizzie's coronation (there was footage of her talking to him about it in the 70s, even), and nothing about the stuff in Nepal after, which is what takes up most of the NZ obituaries.
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Date:January 11th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Someone once told me that The Bats were on the NZ $5 - and I believed them.

Considering how some countries in The Dominion treat their five dollar notes, I just wasn't that surprised...
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Date:January 11th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Top Bloke, indeed. I've a well-documented, childlike (or perhaps childish, depending on how charitable one is willing to be in describing it) fascination with that older generation of knights one finds in and about the Commonwealth. It never ceases to amaze me just how much some of them were able to accomplish in one short human lifetime. Reading over Sir Edmund's considerable list of achievements, I can't help but think that a little vigor has gone out of the world. But I would hope that his fundamental decency and generosity might remain with us a little longer yet.

Sincere condolences to his family, and to all whose lives he touched.

Life and Snowpeas