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Signing the Book of Condolence for Sir Edmund Hillary

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Foreign Office Minister Meg Munn visited New Zealand House in London to sign the Book of Condolence following the death of Sir Edmund Hillary on the 11th January 2008. Hillary’s death was announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. She stated that his passing was a "profound loss to New Zealand". His death was recognised by the lowering of flags to half-mast at the New Zealand Parliament.


On 29th May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. They spent only about 15 minutes at the summit. They unsuccessfully looked for evidence of the 1924 Mallory expedition. Hillary took Tenzing’s photo, Tenzing left chocolates in the snow as an offering, and Hillary left a cross that he had been given. Because Tenzing did not know how to use a camera, there are no pictures of Hillary there. News of the successful expedition reached Britain on the day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.

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