To mark what would have been Sir Edmund Hillary’s 96th birthday, Auckland War Memorial Museum is honoured to announce a joint fundraising collaboration with the Himalayan Trust. Auckland Museum will contribute to the Trust’s fundraising efforts through the creation and sale of a limited edition mug and selection of stunning photographic prints taken from The Hillary Archive, with plans to continue further efforts in subsequent years.
The mug will bear one of Hillary’s most famous quotes and a photograph which looks out from his tent onto a Himalayan mountain range. The three A4 photographic prints will feature the people and landscape of Nepal. The items are drawing from the Museum’s extensive collections donated by the Hillary family. The mug (RRP$ 24.99) and photographic prints (RRP$49.99) will be available in the Museum’s Store and Online Shop later this week. $10 from each item sold will go to the Himalayan Trust in honour of Hillary and his ongoing commitment to the people of Nepal.
“Sir Ed’s passionate support for Nepal is inspirational. We know that he would have wished the people of New Zealand to stand alongside those who are suffering following the recent devastating earthquake. Christchurch is to some extent a shared experience – but we cannot know the utter despair of for Nepal whose economy is nowhere as robust as ours here,” says Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare. “We hope that this desire to do something – however small – will help the Himalayan Trust in their work with the people of Nepal.”
Hillary had a great admiration for the Sherpa and Nepalese people. His work with the Sherpas earned himself a permanent place in their hearts and the affectionate title of Burra Sahib or ‘Big Man’. In 1960 Hillary was asked to help build a school in Khumjung village. He responded and within six months the school was built. Hillary then formed the Himalayan Trust to raise funds and devoted the rest of his life to helping the Himalayan people. For over five decades now the Trust have been working in Nepal to build schools and hospitals, train teachers and doctors, provide volunteers, restore forests and supply help in emergencies. It is now carrying out its largest emergency response in its history to help communities in the Everest region recover and rebuild following the devastating earthquakes earlier this year.
“We are delighted to see replicas of some of our father’s photographic prints being used to fund what was the work-of-his-life: serving the mountain people of the Mt Everest region through the Himalayan Trust,” says Peter Hillary. “Dad was famous for climbing Mt Everest but it was helping other people build their lives that was what he really loved doing. Thanks to the Auckland Museum and the people of Auckland for supporting his Himalayan Trust’s work, particularly now after the recent disastrous earthquakes. There is work to be done! Jai Nepal!”
Auckland Museum holds an extensive collection of items from Sir Edmund Hillary. The Hillary Archive includes his personal papers, diaries, maps, colour slides, photographs and other written and illustrative material. The collections can be explored through the Museum’s Collections Online database.
For more information and to purchase, visit The Museum Store onsite or online at: aucklandmuseum.com/store