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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Everest hero 'unfairly treated'
Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing in 1953
The grandson of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who conquered Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, said his grandfather should have been given a knighthood.

He made the comments as the 50th anniversary of the legendary climb approaches.

Sherpa Tenzing scaled the 29,035 ft peak with Hillary on May 29, 1953, just days before the Queen's coronation.

She later knighted both New Zealander Hillary and and the expedition leader, Britain's John Hunt, but Sherpa Tenzing received only a medal, a decision his grandson sees as unfair.

Recognition

Tashi Tenzing said: "My grandfather did not get the recognition he deserved.

"He should have been knighted by the Queen for the achievement, along with Hillary and Hunt,

"It was not fair. If the Queen had knighted my grandfather it would have been a nice gesture.

"Without him, Hillary would never have reached the summit."

But Mr Tenzing said he did not hold any grudges against Hillary, who he called on the phone when he himself reached the summit of Everest last summer.

"My grandfather is the one who made Sherpas famous in the world."
Tashi Tenzing

He told Binaj Gurubacharya, a correspondent with the Associated Press in Nepal: "I see Hillary as an inspiration and he is a great man. I have a wonderful relationship with him."

But Hillary's claim in his autobiography - published after Sherpa Tenzing's death in 1986 - that it was he and not his guide who had been the first to reach the summit, has caused problems between the two families.

Mr Tenzing, who also scaled Everest in 1997, insists it was a team effort.

"Once you are on the summit you don't even realise you have reached the top and it is hard to remember who got there when.

Jamling Norgay and Tashi Tenzing, son and grandson of the legendary Sherpa Tenzing

"They reached the summit together," he said.

"My grandfather is the one who made Sherpas famous in the world."

Sherpa Tenzing would not have been eligible for a full knighthood as, unlike Hillary and Hunt, he was not a national of a Commonwealth country.

He could have been granted an honorary knighthood, but would not have been allowed to use the title "Sir".





EVEREST CONQUEST 50 YEARS ON

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