Rotary Flag flies high

Pema Sherpa atop the Mt Everest with the banner of RC Darjeeling.
Pema Sherpa atop the Mt Everest with the banner of RC Darjeeling.

When Jamling Norgay said, “It was like touching my father’s soul. I felt at home being on the Himalayas. I belong there,” it gave me goosebumps.

And more so, when he added that he helped in getting the Rotary flag atop the Everest, in not one, but two sites — one on the Nepal side and another on the Tibetan side.

Jamling Norgay is the son of legendary mountaineer Tenzing ­Norgay who, along with Sir Edmund Hilary, was the first to summit the mighty Mt Everest, in 1953. ­Jamling Norgay, himself an ace mountaineer, is member of RC Darjeeling, D 3240.

When he knew that his cousins Pema and Pemba Ongchuk Sherpa were planning an expedition to the Everest, “I suggested to my President Mukesh Singh Adhupia to have our club banner hoisted up there. The entire team was excited about the idea.”

Kanwar Udey Singh Pannu with the Rotary theme banner on the Norbu peak.
Kanwar Udey Singh Pannu with the Rotary theme banner on the Norbu peak.

Adhupia handed over two banners to Norgay, who in turn gave one to Pema Sherpa making the ascent from the Tibetan side. Norgay journeyed up to the Everest Base Camp on the Himalayas and handed over the other banner to his other cousin Pemba ascending from the Nepal side.

Both banners were hoisted successfully in May 2016 within a gap of six days. “The climb itself is highly risky, but for us Sherpas, the mountain is our god. There was much celebrations in our club,” recalled a beaming Norgay.

A teenager’s adventure

On June 19, 2017, Kanwar Udey Singh Pannu, son of D 3090 DG Bagh Singh Pannu, hoisted his school flag and Rotary theme up on the Norbu peak at 17,106 ft. Kanwar is an aspiring boxer and student of Yadavindra Public School, Patiala.

Rtn Olivier Vriesendorp on the Everest summit.
Rtn Olivier Vriesendorp on the Everest summit.

“I’m proud of my son’s achievement. It was his maiden attempt; the credit goes to his school which helped him explore his full potential,” says DG Pannu.

All the way from Holland

Rtn Olivier Vriesendorp of North Holland crowned his accomplishment of scaling the world’s seven highest mountains by reaching the Everest summit in June where he unfolded the wind flag of ‘100 years of Rotary Foundation.’ He likens his feat to the satisfaction that Rotarians experience while ‘Doing good in the World’ through TRF.

“Rotarian Olivier Vriesendorp holds The Rotary Foundation’s Centennial banner atop Mt. ­Everest to celebrate Rotarians doing good in the world,” tweeted RI General Secretary John Hewko.

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