Sunday, March 2, 2008
Sir Edmund Hillary's ashes scattered in two lands...
First published at Qassia:
The ashes of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest, were reportedly scattered at sea in his homeland of New Zealand, and at a special ceremony in Nepal where he is a legend bordering on a god.
Sir Ed as he was affectionally known in NZ, received a rare honour of a state funeral, normally reserved for prime ministers who died in office, or former Governor Generals.
Some of Sir Ed's ashes were scattered from the sailing ship SPIRIT OF NEW ZEALAND in the inner Hauraki Gulf in Auckland on Feb 29 2008, while at the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, another ceremony honoured the life and spirit of the legendary mountaineer and adventurer. It was described as a wonderful merging of two different cultures.
Sir Ed's body was cremated after a private family service, after his state funeral was attended by local and foreign dignatories. It was a moving service.
His widow, Lady Hillary, and his only son Peter, also a mountaineer and climber of Mount Everest,along with his surviving daughter,Sarah and other family members, helped to scatter his ashes in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.
Sir Ed expressed his wish for his ashes to be scattered in his 1999 memoir VIEW FROM THE SUMMIT.
The gangplank especially constructed for the ceremony aboard the siling ship, will be named the 'Hillary Step' and kept for the use by disabled trainees.
There is still one chapter to be written in the life and times of Sir Edmund Hillary - just how will a sad and emotionally moved nation honour him in the most appropriate way. The greatest icon and legendary figure outside of our war heroes has come home.