Everest feat via Greg’s lens


ALFRED ‘Greg’ Gregory’s role as official photographer for the expedition that made the first ascent of Mt Everest in 1953 will be celebrated at a display at the Emerald Museum early next month.
The display is a joint venture between Emerald and District Rotary and the museum.
Mr Gregory was himself an Emerald resident and a member of the Emerald and District Rotary Club for 15 years.
He emigrated with his wife Sue from England to Australia in 1993, 40 years after his role in the Hillary-Norgay climb.
He was known for his exceptional climbing skills, as well as his camera work, and during the climb carried a load of equipment to the previously un-reached Camp Nine – well over 8000 metres above sea level.
The museum display will open on 2 June – coinciding with the 61st anniversary of the Coronation Day announcement in 1953 that Everest had been climbed.
Included in the display are some of Mr Gregory’s books and photographs, along with contemporary newspaper articles and personal items from 1953.
Along with his wife Sue (also a photographer), Mr Gregory would return to England for reunions of the expedition group – considered more of a family – every 10 years.
The pair ran photography treks for many years – both around Australia and overseas, including into different areas of the Himalayas and the Andes.
Mr Gregory was 90 years old in 2003 when he saw his Everest photos displayed at the National Theatre in London. He died in 2010.
A New Zealand-produced film ‘Beyond the Edge’ – based on Sir Edmund Hillary’s astonishing expedition – is currently airing at Belgrave’s Cameo Cinemas. With a mixture of new and old footage, it contains a portrayal of Mr Gregory, including audio of his voice.