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Tenzing 'should have been knighted'

Thursday 30 May 2013 6:33 a.m.

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By 3 News online staff

The grandson of Tenzing Norgay says the late Nepalese Sherpa should have been knighted for his role in Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent of Mt Everest.

Sir Ed and Tenzing were the first to conquer the world's highest mountain on May 29 1953.

But while Sir Ed and John Hunt, the British army officer who led the expedition, were knighted, Tenzing only received the George medal.

Tashi Tenzing has told The Guardian newspaper that the 60th anniversary of the historic climb is an opportunity for people to recognise his grandfather, and the role he played in reaching the summit.

"I think my grandfather should have been knighted," he told the paper. "He was a member of the expedition, not just a Sherpa. They just gave him a bloody medal."

But he was still proud to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ascent.

"We should be proud that two great people have opened the door not just to climbing Everest but to tourism for the Nepalese people. It is a great day for us and we as a family are very happy. We are basically in cloud nine today."

Tenzing Norgay died in Darjeeling, India, in 1986 at age 71. Hillary, who died of heart failure in 2008 at the age of 88, attended the golden jubilee celebration of the conquest in 2003.

3 News / AP

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