Monday, January 21, 2008
Bye Bye Mr Hillary
Now, I like a mountain climber as much as the next woman, but it says a lot about a country’s dearth of celebrity when the funeral of an octogenarian mountain-shimmier lies IN STATE prior to his funeral being broadcast in the capital city’s main park.
(LOVE the portrait though.)
'Hundreds of New Zealanders paid their respects to Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber to scale Mount Everest, ahead of his state funeral on Tuesday. Mourners gathered at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral to file past his body as it lay in state.
Prime Minister Helen Clark, who attended a short ceremony at the cathedral, described Sir Edmund as "New Zealand's greatest hero". The renowned climber died of a heart attack on 11 January at the age of 88. Tuesday's state funeral will be broadcast across New Zealand and shown on a giant screen in an Auckland park. Early on Monday, Sir Edmund's flag-covered coffin was brought into the cathedral, where he will lie in state for 24 hours. Local Maori offered a traditional welcome as military personnel carried the casket.'