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Cathedral Square celebrations mark Hillary’s historic climb

22 May 2003

Sir Edmund Hillary’s triumphant climb of Mt Everest, 50 years ago, will be marked with a day of celebration in Cathedral Square on 29 May.

Summit Day, as it will be called throughout New Zealand, is being held to commemorate Sir Edmund and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay’s historic climb of the world s highest mountain on 29 May, 1953.

It will also raise funds for the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust, which was set up last year, with help from the Government, to acknowledge Sir Edmund; celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary milestone and; raise funds for the continuation of his life ’s work.

Everyone in Christchurch is being invited to Cathedral Square between 11am and 1pm for entertainment, a celebratory Everest walk and to offer a donation to the Trust.

The walk will be a round trip from the Square to Hagley Park to the Square, starting at midday.

Schools have been invited to bring pupils into the Square, with those close by encouraged to walk into town.

Prizes will be handed out by 91.3ZM (Jono and Crystal), who will also relay messages of goodwill to Sir Edmund. The Christchurch Cathedral will be used to display climbing gear.

A celebratory walk up the Port Hills to watch the sunrise will also be held on 29 May. Breakfast will be available afterwards at the Sign of the Kiwi at a cost of $10 per person.

Walkers can meet at the Sign of the Takahe at 6am to walk up to the Sign of the Kiwi or meet at the Sign of the Kiwi at 6.30am for a shorter walk up Mt Cavendish and back. A prize will be given for the best 1953 style walking gear.

Women Climbing, Canterbury Mountaineering Club and NZ Alpine Club have organised three guest speakers to talk on 28 May about their experiences in the Himalayas. The lectures will be given in the C1 lecture theatre, Canterbury University, starting at 7.45pm.

Speakers will include Mike Perry who has climbed to Everest’s summit; Pasang Sherpa who grew up in the Khumbu region (home to Mt Everest) and went to the Hillary School and; Jim Strang who will tell of the work of the Himalayan Trust in building schools and hospitals in the Khumbu region. Entry will be by donation.

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