For those of you that didn't know, Sir Edmund Hillary passed away here yesterday aged 88. He was the first man to climb Mt Everest and survive the ordeal. Although he didn't do this alone, Sherpa Tensing, was right there with him. Upon hearing this at work the other day, all people on site stopped and gave a minutes silence in recognition of a great life having passed. Sir Edmund had done a LOT of work in Tibet building schools and various other buildings, he was made an honorary citizen of Tibet in 1987.
I happened to meet Sir Ed ( he liked to be called Ed, he hated the Sir bit) at a Mountain Safety course in the 80's, this guy was a legend, so un-assuming, you would swear you were talking to your neighbour, not some guy that was world-famous.
He shunned the media and to a degree I can see why.
The thing that impressed me was that Hillary declined to answer the question, who was the first at the summit, while his sherpa pal Tensing was alive. Hillary realized that if he admitted he was first, only his name would be celebrated, and Tensing would be looked on as a piece of equipment. You gotta like the guy for that.