Edmund Hillary, born in Auckland, New Zealand, developed a passion for climbing and exploration in his youth, frequently hiking and scaling mountains near his home. In 1953, he joined a British expedition led by John Hunt to make the first ascent of Mount Everest. Alongside Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa climber, Hillary successfully reached the summit, becoming one of the first confirmed individuals to do so, earning him international acclaim.

Picture of Edmund Hillary | Source: Wikipedia

After his Everest triumph, Hillary pursued further exploration, leading numerous expeditions to the Himalayas and other remote areas. In 1958, he undertook a significant expedition to the South Pole, becoming the first person to reach both poles and the summit of Everest.

Mount Everest | Source: Wikipedia

Deeply committed to giving back to the Sherpa communities of Nepal that supported him during his Everest ascent, Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust, dedicated to improving the lives of Nepalese people. The Trust constructed schools, hospitals, and bridges in remote Himalayan villages, leaving a lasting impact on the region.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay | Source: Wikipedia

Throughout his later years, Hillary remained active in charitable activities, continuing to inspire others with his adventurous spirit. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to mountaineering and charity, Hillary passed away on January 11, 2008. His legacy endures through the ongoing work of the Himalayan Trust and the global admiration for his achievements and humanitarian efforts.

New Zealand 5 Dollars Banknote, 2014 | Source: Banknote World

The New Zealand five-dollar banknote features a portrait of Sir Edmund Hillary on the obverse side, along with Aoraki / Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. On the reverse side, the note showcases a scene from Campbell Island, which is south of Stewart Island / Rakiura. The penguin shown on the note is the hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin), which is native to New Zealand. Additionally, Bulbinella rossii, commonly known as the Ross lily, with yellow flower heads, is also featured.

New Zealand 5 Dollars Banknote, 2015 | Source: Banknote World

This commemoration of Hillary pays tribute to his historic achievement as one of the first individuals, along with Tenzing Norgay, to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. This accomplishment made him an iconic figure in mountaineering and exploration, and his legacy continues to inspire people worldwide. Therefore, featuring him on the banknote serves as recognition of his significant contribution to human endeavor and adventure.

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