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Sir Edmund to be honoured in Wellington

Sir Edmund to be honoured in Wellington

New Zealand’s greatest living legend, Sir Edmund Hillary, will be in the capital on Monday 31 March as guest of honour at an official government luncheon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Mt Everest.

Wellingtonians are invited to attend a parade and public celebration before the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, celebrities, friends and family of Sir Edmund, sit down to lunch.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Trust will be well represented at the luncheon with all Trust members attending, including Dame Cath Tizard (chair) and Sir Wilson Whineray. The Trust has assisted with the organisation of Monday’s public event and it urges locals to take this opportunity to see Sir Edmund.

“Ed has done a great deal for the profile of New Zealand, he’s a very special man and I hope Wellingtonians will come along to see the festivities and show their support,” said Dame Cath.

“The parade involves the communities Ed has worked with over the years which is wonderful. Ed served in World War II in the Solomon Islands with the Royal New Zealand Air Force so they will play for Ed and the public.”

The Royal New Zealand Air Force Band will lead the parade followed by Sir Edmund and Lady Hillary, and members of ethic communities that have had an association with Sir Edmund, will follow in traditional dress.

Members of the mountaineering and outdoors communities will complete the line-up.

The parade will begin at 12.15pm from Ballance Street, right turn into Lambton Quay, left to Molesworth Street and left into the Parliament gates.

Once at the steps of Parliament there will be a powhiri and performances. The Rt Hon Helen Clark will make a speech of welcome and Sir Edmund will be invited to reply. There will be an opportunity for Sir Edmund to meet members of the public before retiring into Parliament for the official luncheon at 1pm.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Trust was set up, with help from the Government, to honour Sir Edmund, celebrate the 50th anniversary milestone and raise funds for the continuation of his life's work.

The Trust would like to acknowledge the support of the Radio Network Stations - Newstalk ZB, Classic Hits and ZM stations for helping to promote the parade and public celebrations.

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