Friday, January 19, 2007

Sir Ed and the PM

These are busy times on Ross Island as yesterday a
C-17 bearing Sir Edmund Hillary and Helen Clark
landed at the Pegasus White Ice Runway. To the
very few people in the world who don't know who
Edmund Hillary is, he and Tenzig Norgay were the
first to scale Mount Everest. He also led the
first motorized expedition across Antarctica,
co-founded Scott Base and was the first to stand
at both Poles. Not bad for someone who started
out as a beekeeper

Oh, did I also mention that he's on New Zealand's
Five Dollar Bill? I've know several people that
have received his autograph on the bill. Somewhat
similar to having Abe Lincoln sign an American Five
Dollar Bill.

Also along for the ride is New Zealand's Prime
Minister, Helen Clark. She's been in office for
as long as we've been coming to New Zealand and
it's her first trip to Antarctica. Both she and
Sir Ed are here to help celebrate Scott Base's
50th Anniversary. Each department at McMurdo was
asked to submit a handful of names to be picked to
have lunch with the Prime Minister and my name was
among them. However, only one person from ATO was
chosen and although it wasn't me, I was happy for
Kelly nonetheless. This will probably be Sir Ed's
last visit to the Ice and it's not likely Helen
Clark will visit again, but it's nice to have them
here for now.


Benjamin said...

I am leaving for the ice today. I should be down there on the 25th hopefully. I can't wait to leave Grand Junction and go to a warmer climate...Antarctica! See ya soon.

AnnieElf said...

I did a double take on the pictures and had to go back. That is when I realized that the old man in the top picture WAS Sir Edmund Hilary. I just didn't get that at first since I thought he had died. What an amazing event. You are all privileged to be witness to it.

tshsmom said...

WOW, I had no idea Sir Edmund was still alive!