Although the late Sir Edmund emphasised he was part of a large expedition - led and driven by the British - he came from a small country that has relished the individual glory he achieved from such a world-beating feat of exploration.
The cultural myth surrounding Hillary - the centrality of this towering figure to our concept of ourselves as a nation - has, understandably, fed the notion of New Zealand as a country that "punches above its weight".
So it is not surprising the idea two Britons, Mallory and Irvine, may have beaten Hillary and Tenzing to the top by 29 years, finds less resonance here than in Britain.Kids, can you imagine what New Zealand's sense of national self-esteem would look like if it turned out that Sir Ed was not the first to reach the top of Everest? Yes, it could be pretty scary. Why not draw your ideas in crayon or pencil? Then ask your parents or care-givers to post your artwork with a Five Dollar note to:
The Fundy Post
AucklandThe Editor's decision is final. Entry fees non-refundable. Prize-winners will get to design a national memorial to something or other.