Wanaka Sun       

Wanaka celebrates Nepal recovery programme

Posted at 5:51am Thursday 01 Nov, 2018 | By Allison McLean journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz


Wanaka's ongoing support to the earthquake-stricken Everest region of Nepal will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 6.

The Himalayan Trust, Mount Aspiring College (MAC) students and Adventure Consultants will set the stage with a speaker series to highlight the completed earthquake rebuild programme in Nepal and Sir Edmund Hillary's continued legacy in the region. The event starts at 7.30pm at St John's Room and is open to the public.

Event organisers said the evening is a way to say thank you the community and let them hear about the impact their support has had in helping to shape Nepal's recovery.

Guests will enjoy conversations from those with extensive involvement, including Himalayan Trust Nepal CEO Dr Mingma Norbu Sherpa, who will share the latest on the Trust's $1.5 million reconstruction programme.

Himalayan Trust communication manager Charlotte Fowler said the programme finished building earthquake-strengthened classroom blocks to replace those damaged and destroyed in the 2015 Nepal earthquakes that killed nearly 9000 people and destroyed more than 600,000 homes, and it was the Trust's biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken.

Bruce and Marg Jefferies will also speak on November 6. In the 1970s, the Jefferies spent 27 months in Nepal helping set up the Sagarmatha National park, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after the Nepalese government enlisted New Zealand's help. Bruce Jefferies worked as an New Zealand Park Service assistant supervising ranger when the family applied for the job. “They had doubts because we were taking three children with us. They thought we were nuts, I think. But, we survived and we loved it,” Marg Jefferies told the Wanaka Sun.

Marg Jefferies will talk about her memoir, Under the Himalayan Sky, which details the time her family spent in Khumbu (Mount Everest). Bruce Jefferies will talk about Sir Hillary's vision for a national park in the region and New Zealand's role in establishing it.

New Zealand mountaineer Sir Hillary and Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Sir Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the people of Nepal through establishing the Himalayan Trust in the 1960s.

“The ongoing support the Himalayan Trust receives from the Wanaka community makes it possible to continue Sir Ed's commitment to education,” said Fowler.

There will also be a presentation by MAC students about their upcoming trek to Sagarmatha National Park and their help with a community project in Nepal.

Guests unable to attend yet interested in supporting the Himalayan Trust can do so by visiting its website, which includes details about the March 2019 Summit Challenge.



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