A mural of Sir Edmund Hillary at St Paul’s was formally blessed and unveiled on Monday to students, staff and guests.
The mural was painted by former St Paul’s student, internationally renowned artist Owen Dippie and was organised by the 2016 school leavers.
In attendance at the ceremony was Lady June Hillary and members of the 2016 leavers.
Tully Dickson, a 2016 leaver was pleased with the final product.
"At the end, seeing what it looks like it is good to have something for the future kids to have and look up to," Mr Dickson said.
"I am sure when we come back in a few years time for a reunion it will be great to look back at and go wow, we paid for that and we got that organised."
"It was good to have Lady Hillary out to see it and she likes it so obviously it is a very good picture.
It is an annual tradition at St Paul’s for the school leavers to leave a gift, and Mr Dickson said that his year group wanted to leave a real impression.
"As a prefect group we had to come up with something we wanted. We settled on a picture and then one of our students, Tom Wilson, pushed hard for getting it organised."
The Sir Edmund Hillary mural was painted by Mr Dippie in 2017 and is overlooking the St Paul’s tennis court.
Alongside the mural is a plaque with information about both Sir Edmund Hillary and Mr Dippie. At the top is Sir Edmund’s famous quote: "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves".
Associate Headmaster Ainsley Robson said the artwork represents the hard work of the students of St Paul’s.
"This is the 2016 leavers gift. It is a gift by the students, for the students and what makes this even better is the artwork by Mr Dippie who is a former student," Mr Robson said.
"The leavers gift is actually for the student body. It is for that class in particular so that you have a memory, a keepsake and a symbol that you can latch on too."
"When the day arrives when you come back to your old school you can look upon that and you can remember the memories of when you were at school."
"The whole point of this work was to try and create a word or phrase that people can drive from, and Sir Edmund Hillary is an icon amongst New Zealand culture."
The mural was blessed by the Reverend Peter Rickman before the students performed the school haka.
Photo Caption: Tully Dickson, one of the 2016 leavers was in attendance to see the project his class started be completed. Photo credit: Tom Rowland (Hamilton News).