Newsletter 2011

In the word of Sir Edmund Hillary: “I have been fortunate enough to be involved in many exciting adventures. But when I look back over my life, I have little doubt that the most worthwhile things I have done have not been standing on the summit of mountains or at the South and North Poles, great experiences though they were. My most important projects are building and maintaining schools, medical clinics for my good friends in the Himalaya and helping with their beautiful monasteries, too. These are the things I always remember”


The dream projects of Sir Edmund Hillary in the field of education and health are still ongoing with the support of Himalayan Trust New Zealand, MFAT New Zealand, The American Himalayan Foundation, Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada, Hillary Foundation USA, Sir Edmund Hillary Stiftung Germany and Himalayan Trust UK.
The Himalayan Trust greatly acknowledges the support of the Himalayan Trust New Zealand, the New Zealand Foreign Aid Division, The American Himalayan Foundation, The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada, Hillary Foundation Arizona USA, the Himalayan Trust (UK), Sir Edmund Hillary –Stiftung Germany and the Grand Circle Foundation and many individual supporters. In other words they are the backbones of the Himalayan Trust to carry on the legacy of Sir Edmund Hilary’s work in Solukhumbu region of Nepal.
The Himalayan Trust Nepal spent a busiest year in 2011 with its daily activities from the very beginning of the year. Management of stationery for the schools, coordinating English Language training program of Khumjung and its feeders schools in December-January at Rato Bangla School, a reputed New Zealand Model English School in Kathmandu were accomplished as per time schedule during the winter holiday of schools.

Khumjung School Golden Jubilee

Khumjung School was established by Sir Edmund Hillary 50 years ago in 1961. To mark the year 2011 as the year of golden jubilee of Khumjung School, all the teachers, staff, ex-students, social workers and the golden jubilee celebration committees got underway for preparation of grand celebration of this historic event in Khumjung Schools from the beginning of year. For Trust it was the moment of pride to have got the opportunity to rejoice the works of 50 years of the Himalayan Trust with all the stakeholders, friends and overseas donors in Kathmandu and Khumbu.

Khumjung School and the Himalayan Trust had the privilege to invite all the well wishers, donors, volunteer doctors, teachers, government officials and foreign dignitaries in Kathmandu and in Khumjung School. A grand reception was hosted at Hotel Hyatt Regency in the evening of 23rd May 2011. Half an hour documentary film on the work of the Himalayan Trust in Solukhumbu was screened to the distinguished guests of honor followed by dinner.

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
George Band with HT Nepal Committee
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Lee & Penny Stevens with HT Committee
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Larry Witherbee with Thukten Sherpa
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Celebration Committee with HT Guests
The guest of honor comprised of Lady June Hillary as Chairperson of Himalayan Trust New Zealand, W. Zeke O’ Connor and Karen O’ Connor the president of Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada, George Band, Susan and Mary Lowe Chairman and Secretary from the Himalayan Trust UK, Larry Witherbee from the Hillary Foundation USA, Manfred Haupl Vice- Chairman from the Sir Edmund Hillary Stitftung and Lee and Penny Stevens from R. & C Steven Charitable Trust NZ.

Richard C. Blum the Chairman of the American Himalayan Foundation, President Erica Stone and Vice President Norbu Tenjing were pre-occupied. Therefore they sent a letter of congratulation to the Himalayan Trust and the Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee.

New Zealand Ambassador to India, Nepal and Bangladesh Ms. Jan Henderson, the Ambassador of United States H DeLisi, British Ambassador John Tucknott and Ms. Wen Powles Head of South Asia Division MFAT Wellington and Ms. Amanda Vercoe Second Secretary NZHC Delhi, New Zealand Honorary Consul to Nepal Lisa Choegyal and director of education, president and member secretary of the Social Welfare Council were some of the guests of honor.

Letter of Appreciations were awarded to the Chairman of the Himalayan Trust Lady June Hillary, the President of Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada Karen O’ Connor, Chairman of the Himalayan Trust UK George Band, Larry Witherbee of Hillary Foundation USA, Manfred Haupl Vice President of Sir Edmund Hillary Stiftung Germany. The Award to the American Himalayan Foundation was handed over to Ang Rita, the Chairman of the Himalayan Trust Nepal by Mr. Mahashram Sharma, the Director of Education from the government of Nepal.

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Lady June Hillary being awarded
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Mary Lowe, HT UK
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Karen O’ Connor, SEHF Canada
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Larry Witherbee, Hillary Foundation USA
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Manfred Haupl SEHF Germany
Similarly the contribution in the past by Ex-Chairman of the schools, Headmasters, Social workers, Celebration Committee, Ex-students, Teachers and overseas international personalities from New Zealand and Japan were well remembered and awarded letter of appreciation to all of them on this great occasion.
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Diane McKinnon
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Dr. Lindsay Strang
HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Glen Sylvester
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Jim Strang, teacher training coordinator
Dr. John McKinnon and Diane McKinnon were the first couple to work at Kunde hospital in 1966 to 1968. While Doctor John McKinnon volunteered at Kunde hospital, Diane McKinnon offered her services for children to teach English at Khumjung School. Dr. Lindsay Strang and his wife Genevieve Strang worked as volunteer doctor at Kunde hospital and as volunteer teacher at Khumjung School were also thanked with appreciation letter from the school.

Jim Strang, a coordinator for teacher training program in Solukhumbu from 1998 to 2004 was also recognized for his work for upgrading the quality of teaching in the Himalayan Trust supported school.

George Band initially had not planned to attend the celebration but surprised everyone being present himself accompanied with his wife Susan and daughter at the event of Khumjung School Golden Jubilee Celebration on 29th May in spite of his deteriorating health. He was a man of determination. This turned out to be his last visit to Khumjung School. Dr. Kami Temba and the staff had the privilege to welcome Zeke O’ Connor, Karen O’ Connor, Peter Hillary, Dr. Mike Gill, and Lindsay Strang at the hospital on the occasion of Golden Jubilee. After golden jubilee celebration unfortunately Dr. Lindsay Strang had a fall nearby Kunde and Khumjung and injured his neck. He was evacuated to Kathmandu and immediate surgery for his fractured cervical vertebra was done successfully. Good news is that he is healing well.

Coordination and support for Khumjung School to celebrate its Golden Jubilee program was one of the important tasks for Himalayan Trust. Mr. Manfred Haupl, the Vice-President of Sir Edmund Hillary Stiftung provided two laptop computers for two teacher trainers of Himalayan Trust to be used in the field visit.

The program manager of the American Himalayan Foundation, Mrs. Eileen Moncoeur, visited the Trust in February 2011 and discussed about the Himalayan Trust ongoing projects

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Eileen Moncoeur from AHF at Trust Office

Ang Rita Sherpa has been re-elected as Chairman of the Himalayan Trust Nepal from May 2011 to May 2014. As per 10 years plan of Ang Rita, he retired from the administrative role of the Himalayan Trust from July 2011. Pasang Sherpa Lama will look after the projects and administration of the Himalayan Trust in Nepal.

After the celebration of 50 years work of the Himalayan Trust Senior Founding Members of the Himalayan Trust New Zealand, Lady June Hillary, Jim Wilson, Murray Jones, Douglas Page, David Hayman and Rebecca Hayman resigned and the responsibilities passed on to the Chairman Dr. John Heydon, Diane McKinnon, Secretary Dr Kobi Keralus, treasurer Sarah Hillary and Dr. Mike Gill and the new members of New Zealand Himalayan Trust Council is expected to increase in near future with amendment of Himalayan Trust New Zealand Constitution.

The General Agreement between the Himalayan Trust and Social Welfare Council reached on 10th July 2011 for a period 5 years followed by Project Agreement on 10 August effective from 2011 to 2016.

The Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee meeting held on 4th September 2011 and various decisions were passed in the meeting including entrustment of some of the major responsibilities to the members.

On 2nd October, the Central Project Advisory Committee meeting was held comprising the government Officials from Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, National Planning Commission and the Social Welfare Council. Presentation on the year round activities of the Himalayan Trust in Solukhumbu was made through Power Point by Pasang Sherpa Lama, the administrative officer of the Himalayan Trust Nepal. The meeting was chaired by the Member Secretary of the Social Welfare Council, Dr. Chewang Namgyal Lama.
Dr. Kami Temba Sherpa and his wife Da Doma Sherpa were invited for the book launch program of Dr. Mike Gill In Nelson. They had a reunion with the volunteer doctors of New Zealand and are back to Kunde after their two week’s program.
In November 2011, Richard C. Blum, Erica Stone and Norbu Tenzing and Jon Krauker from the American Himalayan Foundation visited Nepal. The Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee had a good opportunity for a get together in Kathmandu as usual years in connection for the discussion of educational activity supported by them in Solukhumbu

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor

On 25th November the Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee had an informal meeting with the ex- Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms. Helen Clark at Dwarika Hotel in Kathmandu. As the present Head of UNDP Helen Clark was on a four days visit to Nepal in connection with the deveopmental work of Nepal and south east Asia. The visiting UNDP chief highly appreciated the role of the Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee and expressed her continueous support. Ang Rita, the Chairman of the Himalayan Trust Nepal Committee expressed thanks for the supportive role for enhancing the financial support to the Sir Edmund Hillary’s dream projects in Nepal during her premiership in New Zelannd.

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor

The informal meeting at Dwarika hotel was organized by the New Zealand Honorary Consul, Lisa Choegyal for Himalayan Trust Nepal committee and wider New Zealand educated Nepali communities in Nepal.

Mr. Tony Banks from MFAT who is a Development Manager in Agriculture sector was recently in Nepal on holiday. He had a fantastic Everest trek with great weather, good company and good health passing through some of the Himalayan Trust supported projects. We had an opportunity to see him in Kathmandu at Himalayan Trust office on 1st December. The Nepal Committee also enjoyed briefly meeting Dr. John McKinnon at Trust Office on 4th December. He was in India and was travelling back to New Zealand.

HE Jan Henderson & Lady June Hillary
Tony Banks & Pasang Sherpa
W. Zeke O’ Connor & Karen O’ Connor
Pasang Dawa Sherpa with Ambassador of
Slovakia

Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa, the Executive Member of the Himalayan Trust Nepal is appointed as the honorary consul of Republic of Slovakia on 4th December 2011. The Ambassador of Republic of Slovakia hosted a reception to honor the newly appointed honorary consul at Shangrila Hotel. The Himalayan Trust Nepal wishes him a very successful term of office.

Like last year, Khumjung School and its feeder school teachers will have English language training in Kathmandu at Rato Bangla during winter holiday. This year’s training will be focused on subject wise teaching. Almost over 26 teachers are expected to attend the training.

The year 2011 also happened to be a sad year for the Himalayan Trust with the passing away of the Chairman of Himalayan Trust UK, George Band, a long time friend of Nepali people. Rebecca Stephens has assumed the post of Chairmanship and Graham Wrigley is nominated as Deputy Chairman and Mary Lowe has agreed to continue as Member Secretary of the Himalayan Trust UK. The Himalayan Trust Nepal would wish a successful year all throughout their term.

The Himalayan Trust Nepal would like to wish Merry Christmas and many warm greetings to all its supporters and well wishers on the occasion of happy New Year of 2012.