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Sir Edmund Hillary – the spirit of giving

22 January 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary – the spirit of giving

“My life has been a constant effort to illustrate how a very mediocre person with very mediocre talents, which I have, can create quite a lot if they really drive themselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s mountaineering achievements made him a role model to New Zealanders, and his lifetime of giving has continued to inspire us.

Volunteering New Zealand, Philanthropy New Zealand and the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) wish to pay tribute to Sir Ed’s generous and giving nature, to his can-do attitude, and to his quiet sense of duty. As founder of the Himalayan Trust and patron to a number of non-profit organisations, such as the Fred Hollows Foundation, Sir Ed embodied the spirit of giving, in every sense of the word.

Sir Ed engenders what it means to be an active citizen, contributing and participating in the community in many ways both financially and as a volunteer. The efforts of such volunteers and philanthropists enhance our communities, economy and wellbeing.

This is why Volunteering New Zealand, Philanthropy New Zealand and the OCVS are spearheading a multi-sectoral initiative to encourage New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to think about their giving – by this we mean giving of time, of money and in-kind.

We’d like to salute Sir Ed, a man who quietly did good deeds because they needed to be done. We encourage all New Zealanders to create a living monument to his life and achievements through their own philanthropic and volunteering efforts.

Tim Burns, Executive Director of Volunteering New Zealand, suggests “If there were to be a special day each year on which to remember Sir Ed, perhaps it should be a day when New Zealanders are encouraged to undertake voluntary activity in their community. That would give true recognition to how Sir Ed would wish to be remembered.”

To find an opportunity to participate in your community, visit:


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