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Bedrock Of Personally Engraved Rocks To Form Cairn

Bedrock Of Personally Engraved Rocks To
Form Sir Ed’s Memorial Cairn

March 23

Engraved rocks donated by New Zealanders from all walks of life will form the basis of a memorial to Sir Edmund Hillary and his love of mountains.

The memorial cairn, whose final design will be decided in consultation with Lady Hillary, is to be created at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand at Tongariro, in the shadow of Mt Ruapehu.

Many of the rocks will be donated and collected during the Summits for Ed tribute tour which starts on Tuesday, March 26 in Bluff and travels the country before ending in Cape Reinga on April 19.

Grant McKenzie, chairman of the OPC Hillary Centres responsible for organising the Summits for Ed tribute tour, said there were several ways members of the public could help create the memorial.

“If people can’t bring along an already engraved rock to a summit climb, there are plenty of other options to ensure their name, or that of a loved one, lives on at Sir Ed’s memorial.”

Mr McKenzie said people would be asked to donate funds to the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation to have their engraved rock become part of the cairn.

“All donations will to go creating scholarships to enable youth in need to attend our outdoor courses at either Tongariro or on Great Barrier Island.

“Sir Ed was the OPC Hillary Centre’s founding patron from and helped introduce thousands of young teenagers to outdoor challenges in the mountains. The scholarships will ensure that his work continues, as he expressly wished.”

Ways people can be part of creating the memorial:

1. People can bring their own rock, already engraved with their name and details or a loved one’s details, along to a summit climb and donate $100 to the Hillary Foundation.

2. People can bring along a bare rock, donate $100 to the Hillary Foundation plus $50 for the cost of engraving, and Lions Club members will arrange for the rock to be engraved.

3. People can donate $100 to the Hillary Foundation plus $50 for engraving and a rock will be both sourced and engraved for them.

4. Those who cannot donate an engraved rock can instead bring along a stone from a favourite place. A gold coin donation for these unmarked stones to also be part of the cairn would be welcomed.

5. Anyone unable to attend a summit climb can make online donations and orders for rocks and engraving at, from Tuesday 26.

All rocks and stones will be transported to Tongariro and placed at the memorial site. The unmarked stones will be placed in a common area.

Mr McKenzie said rocks should be no larger than an A4 sheet of paper and should be smooth, with a flat side for engraving. This will make the engravings easy to read by visitors to the memorial once it is built.

“We envisage the memorial will serve as a tribute to our national hero, and also become a place where future generations can learn about Sir Ed’s values and the contribution individuals can make for to create a healthy, vibrant New Zealand society.”

Mr McKenzie said the opportunity for New Zealanders and international visitors to contribute an engraved rock to the cairn would probably continue over a number of years.


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