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Sir Edmund Hillary’s house journey continues

Sir Edmund Hillary’s house journey continues

Sir Edmund Hillary’s house, moved from its site in Remuera in May last year, will be relocated to its new position at the Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara on Wednesday next , February 2. It will be a momentous start of the new school year for students of this community and a powhiri will mark its arrival on the site at 8am. Students will honour this heritage as it marks its new state as a leadership centre at the school.

The house, built by Sir Edmund and Lady Louise Hillary in 1956, is being rebuilt, with only minor modifications, by students of Manukau Institute of Technology under the supervision of their tutors, architects (Abela and Co) and project managers of the school. The concrete base was laid just before Christmas and work to reposition the top of the house will take place over the next few months so that the house is completed and opened as a leadership centre by the end of the May - in time for celebrations to mark the ascent of Everest (May 29th 1953).

Commissioner Gail Thomson, who has been the vision and driving force behind the project, says Wednesday is a big milestone for the project. “Sir Ed’s former home will be a wonderful place where students from this community and in time from around New Zealand will feel strongly stimulated to achieve and reach their goals and dreams; as he did –planning many of his trips and adventures from the study here. We feel so privileged to have been donated this very significant symbol of New Zealand history but there is a huge task to raise the rest of the funding needed – however he will continue to provide the motivation needed to achieve this on behalf of young people in New Zealand”.

Recent fundraising has included selling bricks from the house with the support of the Rotary Club of Auckland East Inc, help from businesses with materials and supplies and sponsorship and funds from trusts, companies and the previous Manukau City Council.

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate has three schools on its Otara campus, a primary, middle and senior school. Support for the move of Sir Edmund’s home to the collegiate came from the Hillary family and the previous owner Mr. Terry Jarvis, who gifted the house to the collegiate. The Hillary Leadership Centre Trust has now been established to organise the rebuilding and to oversee the future of the centre.


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