31 March 2007
This may be heading us deep into trivia territory, but it might give the world an idea of the iconic status that Tim enjoys in New Zealand.
Big new winery opened in Havelock North in 2003, big open air concert to celebrate with folks traveling from all over the country. (We were there from the other side of the world, but that was more coincidence than planning...). That's the view of the natural amphitheatre (aka sheep paddock...) and the winery from Te Mata peak.
Kiri Te Kanawa
Lots of people will say "OK, rock singer, pass, pass"
Kiri Te Kanawa's is the classic "Maori kid from the East Coast makes it huge" story. Adopted as an infant and having been born into an indigenous society that - more so back then than now and it's not good these days - doesn't give you much of a kick start in life. "Whalerider" country.
So if Covent Garden, the Met, La Scala, Washington National Opera, Paris Opera, Sydney Opera and the Vienna State Opera mean anything to you, you'll already know how good she is.
And if you don't, then listen to her reading of Vissi d’arte from Puccini's Tosca and you'll understand.
Ed Hillary was the first man - together with Tensing Norgay - to climb Mt Everest.
Came down and said "Well George, we finally knocked the bastard off".
He's the only living New Zealand to appear on a banknote. The image of the $5 fills the street front of NZ's equivalent of the Fed in Wellington.
Too shy to propose to his future wife, so he asked her mother to do it on his behalf.
The first man to stand at both poles as well as the summit of Everest.
Spent years building schools, hospitals and bridges in Nepal.
He's still listed in the Auckland phone book.
He's New Zealand's moral pinnacle.
He once called for more honesty in politics, to much aggravated moaning from the political class and cheering from the rest of us.
America just doesn't have an equivalent.
Tim sings a duet in Maori with Kiri and then kicks into a set ("wound up like a two bob watch" as he put it at the time) with the Dirty Creatures that was amazing. "I see red" - this is from the Bic, Tim and Dave live concert - was unforgettable.
And Ed Hillary tells it like it was 50 years earlier.
"We got up there and there was nothing but space in every direction. We had reached the top of the world"
He's here in a BBC interview later that year.
So for Tim to be on stage with these two....
Well, if you were to ask him, I think he'd have difficulty getting the words out.
Posted by John Burland at 13:26