Inspiring speaker: Mountaineer Peter Hillary's one of two guest speakers at tomorrow night's Rotary Club of Queenstown fundraising dinner and auction


Two Himalayan high-flyers will be guest speakers at tomorrow night’s Rotary Club of Queenstown fundraising dinner and auction.

One is mountaineer Peter Hillary, the well-known son of the late Sir Edmund Hillary who  was first to climb Mt Everest.

The other’s local chopper pilot Jason Laing who flew rescue helicopters on Mt Everest — considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

Hillary participated in many of his father’s expeditions and projects, travelling to the North Pole, up India’s Ganges River, and climbing in the Himalayas and the United States.

He’s also been involved in helping the people of Nepal.

High-flyer: Queenstown chopper pilot Jason Laing pictured with some Nepalese children in 2015

As a member of the Everest Mountain Rescue Squad, Laing specialised in flying to the aid of climbers trapped on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain.

He received several Nepalese bravery awards and international pilot of the year awards, for demonstrating exceptional professionalism.

The event’s being held from 5.30pm till 9.30pm at Queenstown’s Sherwood.

Tickets cost $75 and can be reserved by emailing

One of the event organisers, Joan Kiernan, says profits will go to the Rotary Foundation to be spent on various projects.

Kiernan says in 2020 the foundation provided a Covid-19 ‘‘disaster grant’’ of over $30,000 to the Queenstown community.

‘‘Given the events of the past year, many of our usual fundraisers, such as working at the NZ Golf Open or running the Duck Race during Winter Festival, have been cancelled, so we have come up with a new idea.’’

The auction includes accommodation in Riverton, Karitane and Queenstown, and art work by Gus Watson.