The first Everest climbers families took their person bond and love for the mountains to a new high on May 29, 1953, seventy years after that great achievement by tensing Norgay and Edmund Hillary who became global icons during that period.
Tenzing Norgay’s son Jamling and Edmund Hillary’s son Peter jointly inaugurated statues of their fathers at Tenzing Hillary Airport in Nepal’s Lukla and released 70 commemorative coins to mark the 70th anniversary of the first conquest of Mount Everest summit. Peter flew in from New Zealand and was in Khumjung, Nepal for a programme at Hillary School.
Both Peter and Jamling have followed in their fathers’ footsteps to scale the world’s tallest peak, albeit separately. They now want their children to keep up the family legacy.
“It has been a long association of the two families, which are bonded by what was regarded as one of the most heroic deeds in the post World War era. My father and Sir Edmund Hillary developed their friendship during their ascent to Everest. Their children and grand children will take the mantle forward”, said Jamling.
Jamling was born 13 years after the historic first ascent. “When I was eight years old, I started to figure out that my father was a celebrity and a pioneer in mounting climbing fraternity. That inspired me to join mountaineering and carry the culture of the sherpas forward,” Jamling said.
“We tell stories to the kids and encourage them to climb mountains. My youngest daughter accompanies me on some treks. My kids and other kids from the community have to know the core value of Sherpas. They need to know where we come from and what we symbolize,” Jamling said.
Members of both families organize workshops and camps on mountains and spread awareness about the need to keep them clean. “When I got to Darjeeling, I meet Jamling and his brother. We have a long connecting between the two countries,” Peter Said.
In the US, a section of 75th street in the Queens neighbourhood in New York will be co-named after Tenzing. The Himalaya Nature and Adventure Foundation has written to PM Narendra Modi demanding as a posthumous Bharat Ratna for Tenzing. “His contribution to India and the world deserves recognition” said Dip Narayan Talukdar NAHF’s secretary. (IPA Service)