The house that Ed built
Hillary House Leadership Centre was Sir Edmund Hillary's home which, following his death in January 2008, was moved from Remuera and re-sited in the grounds of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara. Gail Thomson, commissioner at the collegiate in 2008, was the visionary who wanted to save the house for New Zealand and for young people in particular.
From 2009 to 2014 a small group, now the Hillary House Leadership Centre Trust, negotiated and fundraised to open the House as a leadership centre. Its focus is on engaging student leaders through a Visiting Programme. During visits students learn about the journey of the House and the legacy of Sir Ed, leading to discussion on goal-setting, planning and motivation.
Hillary House is the only place in New Zealand solely dedicated to the life of our greatest icon. It is a place of heritage where memorabilia, books and displays about Sir Ed’s life and achievements can be seen, which is particularly appreciated by senior visitors. See Visiting Programme.
Photo - Stuff: Gail Thomson right, with Peter and Sarah Hillary
The vision of the Trust is that the house be a place for leadership development, in the spirit of Sir Edmund Hillary’s achievement in conquering Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, on 29 May 1953.
His ongoing legacy is a beacon for education and youth.
Journey of the House
Moving Sir Ed’s house was like climbing a mountain; one foot in front of the other. It took seven years to raise the money for the rebuild at the Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate campus. The site was chosen because this is the school encompassing early childhood, primary, intermediate and secondary, to which Sir Ed gave his name and he was a regular visitor.
Sir Ed and Lady Louise built the House in Remuera in 1956 and he lived there until he died on 8 January 2008. In 2009, prior to the move, the House was blessed.
Subsequently it was cut into sections, moved offsite and stored while approvals were gained and funding was sourced. Hillary House Leadership Centre was formally opened on 29 May 2014, the 61st anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest.