Hillary home opens as education centre

01:47, May 29 2014
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Hillary House Leadership opening at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara today.
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Father Iosefa Euese blesses the house.
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Peter Hillary, Sarah Hillary and Gail Thomson at the opening of Hillary House Leadership Centre.
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Hillary House Leadership opening at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara today.
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Students perform a welcome at the Hillary House Leadership opening at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara.
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Hillary House Leadership opening at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara today.
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Peter Hillary at Hillary House Leadership opening at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara.

It's been more than 60 years since Sir Edmund Hillary sat in his study and planned his climb to the summit of Mt Everest.

Now his house has a new home on the grounds of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara where it will provide leadership training for students and the community.

The Hillary House Leadership Centre was officially opened today on the 61st anniversary of Sir Ed's and Tenzing Norgay's ascent of Mt Everest.

Sir Ed's house
MOVING HOUSE: Sir Edmund Hillary’s home was moved in 2010 from its original place on Remuera Rd to a site on the grounds of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.

Centre trust chairwoman Gail Thomson said it took about a year to get permission to move the house from its original site in Remuera.

The home had been bought by his neighbours but they only wanted the land.

Thomson approached them and suggested a new location for the building at the Otara school.

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Sir Ed's house
FUTURE LEADERS: Students from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate and other schools in the area will be able to develop leadership skills at the Hillary House Leadership Centre. From left, Temukisa Taita , Esmeralda Luaiva and Silika Isaia with Hillary House Leadership Centre Trust chairwoman Gail Thomson .

The trust raised the funds needed to rebuild the house as near as possible to its original state.

It also received help from businesses with materials and supplies as well as sponsorship and funds from trusts, companies and the Government.

"I'm delighted to say it's here and it's finished," Thomson said.

Sir Ed's house
PROUD: Hillary House Leadership Centre Trust chairwoman Gail Thomson is delighted to be able to restore Sir Edmund Hillary’s house and use it as a place to develop leadership skills in young people.

"For someone as historic as this, it's been worth every bit of it."

Sir Ed's legacy will provide young people with the motivation to reach for their goals, she said.

"The most rewarding thing is understanding that we have managed to preserve this very special piece of New Zealand history for the inspiration of young New Zealanders."

Sir Ed's house
CONTINUING LEGACY: Restored rooms in Sir Edmund Hillary’s former residence, such as his old study, have been filled with books, photos and old newspaper clippings of his achievements.

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate year 8 student Silika Isaia was one of several students who helped restore the house.

Being able to learn in a place that was once the home of such a legendary Kiwi was inspiring for all students, she said.

"It motivates us, inspires us and empowers us to do that right things so it's awesome," Isaia said.

Auckland