Selwyn marks the Everest Day
(caption for the picture above): Mark Inglis, the first double-amputee to summit Mount Everest addressing the gathering on the occasion of Everest Day in Christchurch; Pictures of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in the foreground
Celebrated in memory of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay, the 9th International Everest Day [started in 2008] was observed at the Lincoln Events Centre.
The event was jointly-organised by the Non-Resident Nepali Association New Zealand (NRNANZ), Nepal NZ Friendship Society of Canterbury, and Canterbury Nepalese Society (CNS). Amy Adams, minister for justice and communications, was the chief guest. The gathering also observed a minute's silence in memory of those perished during last year's earthquake in Nepal.
“Earlier in the day, a Walk for Nepal was organised in Christchurch's CBD to raise money for women health issues back home,” informed Bishnu Pokhrel, President of CNS.
While Nepalese song and dance sequences also featured during the evening, highlight was Mark Inglis, the first double-amputee to summit the highest peak in the world, and Wayne Alexander, who accompanied him during the record-breaking ascent, noting their connection with Nepalese people and the shared bond between the two countries.
Pokhrel, who immigrated to New Zealand in 2006 and works in the mental health issues of refugees and migrants with the District Health Board added, “The seed of this wonderful relationship between our two countries were sowed when those two great mountaineers sat foot on Sagarmatha [local name for Mount Everest] together. Since that day, the bond has grown even stronger.”
A sentiment shared by Sagar Pandey, President of Nepal NZ Friendship Society of Canterbury, and Babu Raja Maharjan, President of NRNANZ, who owns a fire alarm business in Auckland.
“When Hillary and Norgay came down from Everest, a massive rally was organised in Nepal in the first week of June in their honour, which was attended by almost 60,000 people. Sir Edmund Hillary never forgot that affection. Probably, that's why he treated Nepal as his second home,” Maharjan said.
Concluding by giving details about NRNANZ, he added.“ Our organisation has 73 chapters globally, with ours in New Zealand a prominent one. With help from our friends in New Zealand, we want Nepal to progress economically so as to embark on a path of self-reliance, self-confidence and self-respect.”