Be determined; aim high

Be determined; aim high


On May 29th 1953 two men accomplished the then greatest feat for man; they reached the summit of Mt Everest. One went on to use his new-found world-wide fame to launch a Trust and improve the lives of the local people; and the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary has again brought attention to his great achievements.

So powerful has Sir Edmund's impact been on the world that with his death aged 88 on 11th January, that Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark announced a state funeral would be held on January 22nd. Before that date, his casket will lie in state in the Anglican Cathedral in Auckland so that people can file past and pay their respects.

The man known for his modesty and commitment was so moved by the daily hardship of the Sherpa peoples in the Himalayan region of Nepal that in the early 1960s he set up his Himalayan Foundation in New Zealand and established a Canadian equivalent to raise funds for this work.

Sir Edmund used his new-found fame to raise the profile of the work he was doing, and since the early 1960s he and a team of helpers and the Sherpa people have provided hospitals, schools, airfields and piped water for the mountain people of Nepal.

Donations to the Himalayan Trust UK had exceeded £500,000 by the end of 2007.

The Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who accompanied Sir Edmund to the summit, was a life-long friend, and true to his motto ‘be determined; aim high’ Sir Edmund was able to visit him on his death bed in India, defying local political resistance.

Thanks to Sir Edmund's enduring commitment the many people he inspired by his good work continue to aim high.