Aukland, May 29, 200 Kiwis from across the various sections of the New Zealand community and the members of Nepalese community gathered in the Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall in Auckland to observe Everest Day with the Hillary family.
Speakers at Everest Day paid their tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who, in 1953, succeeded to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest. This day is proudly marked to celebrate the extraordinary legacy and significance of the First Ascent of Mt Everest by the legendary mountaineers.
Most speakers acknowledged the special friendship between Nepali and New Zealanders, and the bond between Nepal and New Zealand. In addition to the organisers and invited speakers, many dignitaries such as – Lady June Hillary (through Mr. Peter Gibbs, honorary consul general of Nepal for New Zealand), Mr. Atma Ram Khanal, Honorary Consul of Nepal in New Zealand, Sir Ray Avery, Patron of the NRNA NZ, Mr. Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary, Dr. Mark Inglis, Mr. Ang Kaji Sherpa, Hon Michael Wood, Deputy Leader of the House, Transport Minister of the New Zealand Government, Ms. Melissa Lee, Spokesperson for the ethnic communities, National Party, Mr. Amrit Melant, Office of the Ethnic Communities, Department of Internal Affairs, Mr. Hom Pandey, Regional Coordinator Oceania, Non Resident Nepali Association, Mr. Dharma Raj Adhikari, the outgoing Regional Coordinator Oceania, Non Resident Nepali Association, Mr. Loknath Poudel, Honorary Public Relations Representative to New Zealand for Nepal Tourism Board, International Coordination Council, Mr. Romy Udanga, Multicultural Labour New Zealand, Ms. Fiona Lai, elected member Auckland Council, Puketapapa Local Board, were present on the encouraging occasion.
Speaking on behalf of Lady June Hillary, Mr. Peter Gibbs said, “Sir Ed would have been “chuffed” by celebration of his legacy.” Mr. Peter Hillary, appreciating the stag set, said the first thing that struck him was that felt as if he was in Kathmandu.
Minister Michael Wood paid his tribute to the relationship between the people of New Zealand and Nepal and stressed, “We are there for each other when in need.” Minister Wood, who is also MP of Mt Roskill where the event was held, acknowledged the “ambitious and growing” Nepalese community in New Zealand.
Sir Ray Avery highlighted Sir Ed’s work in the education and health sector in Nepal. Similarly, he shed light on how Sir Ed’s work has enabled entrepreneurial initiatives in Nepal. Everest summiteers Mr. Ang Kaji Sherpa and Mr. Mark Inglis shared their interesting Everest experience to the joy of the audience.
Lal KC, NRNA, New Zealand President expressed, “This event plays a very significant role to advance the relationship between Nepal and New Zealand at the public level. NRNA, New Zealand in the days ahead will collaborate with Himalayan Trust to work in the education and health sectors.”
A beautiful Sherpa dance was performed as a part of the production of the event. Everest Day was organised jointly by the Non-Resident Nepali Association New Zealand (NRNA, NZ) with the Nepal Embassy, Canberra, and the Himalayan Trust.