The Last Word

By Ricky Jackson | Posted: Wednesday May 4, 2016

The start of a new term, starts the new school theme. This terms theme for our school is courage and honour and this is what I will be talking to you about today. 

What is courage and honour? Basically courage is bravery and honour is honesty. I could go on more about these definitions but today I am going to talk about someone special who shows these two attributes in everyday life. 

When I mention courage, honour, New Zealanders and mountaineers, the majority of you would think of the legend Sir Edmond Hillary.  He showed courage and honour being the first one to reach Mount Everest’s summit but today I am going to talk about someone different. 

His name is Rob Hall. Some of you are thinking, who is Rob Hall? Rob Hall was a New Zealand mountaineer best known for being the head guide of the tragic 1996 Mount Everest expedition. Rob Hall unfortunately died on 11th May 1996 during his fifth Mount Everest climb alongside seven other climbers. This in itself shows courage and how he perservers up Mount Everest. On the 11th of May it will be the 20th anniversary of his death. This is why I am talking to you today about him. How does Rob show courage and honour? 

Rob wasn’t a quitter, he never gave up and when an obstacle was put in front of him he always rose to the challenge. Instead of Rob descending down Everest when the storm hit, he chose to stay and help his mate who had run out of oxygen. As Mr Hall said yesterday, "not doing what is easy but do what is right." After several hours in the storm, his oxygen mask was frozen, he was fighting and using the strength he had left to stay alive. 

Rob was a loving family man, shortly before his death, he had the courage to ring his wife and say his goodbyes to her and his soon to be born daughter who he was never to meet. Rob Hall is a man who we all should strive to be in the classroom, sporting field and in all cultural aspects. 

Courage and honour in school could be as easy as helping a classmate with school work, speaking in front of the classroom, just saying no; this could be to peer pressure or even to certain challenges and bad situations. As per tradition I am going to finish with a quote by Dwayne Johnson, “when life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’. Say ‘try me’.”