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Sir Ed’s ashes scattered from Hillary Step

Friday February 29, 2008

Sir Ed’s ashes scattered from
Spirit of New Zealand’s Hillary Step

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The Hillary Step that the Spirit of New Zealand had made to allow the family to scatter Sir Ed's ashes on the Hauraki Gulf this afternoon at the waterline. The two young women in the photograph are: Left - Larissa Mueller of Auckland (Spirit of NZ volunteer Leading Hand) & on her right -Samantha Williams of Tauranga (Spirit of NZ cadet)

Sir Edmund Hillary’s ashes, in accordance with his wishes, were scattered in the inner Hauraki Gulf this afternoon from the youth development ship Spirit of New Zealand, by Sir Ed's widow Lady Hillary, son Peter, daughter Sarah and other family members.

A new steel ship’s gangplank, designed especially for the occasion and now known as the ‘Hillary Step,’ enabled a dignified scattering of the ashes from very close to the waterline”, said Spirit of Adventure Trust CEO, John Lister.

“Our uniformed trainees, in the middle of a ten-day voyage, formed an informal guard of honour on the Princes Street wharf”.

“Mindful of the honour being given to the ship, we designed the Hillary Step – a gangplank with five steps leading down to a small platform only about a hand’s breadth above the water”.

‘But the Hillary Step, which was generously funded by a private charitable Trust, will also be very useful in the future, particularly for our disabled trainees who have difficulty in climbing up the usual cargo nets after a swim. It will be a valued addition to the ship’s facilities for the young people we take to sea.’

The ship will resume Voyage V519 at 2100 hours, under the command of the Trust’s Senior Master Captain Paul Leppington.


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