Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sir Edmund Hillary's final journey will likely be on board the Spirit of New Zealand, with discussions already under way to scatter his ashes from the sailing ship following his state funeral in Auckland today. Spirit of Adventure Trust chief executive John Lister said the ashes were to be scattered into the Waitemata Harbour on Thursday. But the plan was postponed because Lady Hillary wanted more time. "Several days ago we were approached by Internal Affairs and the Prime Minister's Department to see if (the Spirit of New Zealand) would be available," Mr Lister said. The ship was free on Thursday but the arrangement was later deferred. An alternative date had yet to be finalised, Mr Lister said. "We would be honoured to play our part but we're waiting for the funeral to be finished and waiting for the family's wishes from there on," he said.
Spirit of New ZealandPrime Minister Helen Clark said Sir Edmund's family planned to scatter his ashes in a private ceremony. Mr Lister said the trust would do whatever it could to accommodate the family's wishes. "Sir Ed did say that he wanted the Spirit of New Zealand to scatter his ashes and I can't think of a more fitting way of doing it." Unlike many climbers, Sir Edmund had said he did not want his remains left on a mountain after he died. He wanted his ashes scattered in the Waitemata Harbour, "to be washed gently ashore, maybe on the many pleasant beaches near the place I was born. "Then the full circle of my life will be complete."