The achievements of one of the world’s greatest high-altitude mountaineers has been recognised with the Freedom of the Borough of Eastleigh, which was agreed at this week's annual meeting of the Full Council. Three residents have also been recognised as Citizens of Honour.
Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja MBE, is a former Gurkha and a member of Eastleigh Borough’s Nepalese community. He is a legend within the extreme mountaineering community, having conquered all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre-plus peaks in six months and six days, smashing the previous record of just under eight years.
He was awarded the MBE for his outstanding contribution to high-altitude mountaineering. His charitable foundation supports young talent, regardless of race, culture or religion.
The motion, agreed by the meeting of the Full Council reads:
“That in pursuance of section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972 Nirmal Purja be admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Eastleigh, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to high-altitude mountaineering and ongoing charity work.”
Citizens of Honour awarded
As part of the Borough’s Fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1986 the Council created the award of Citizen of Honour. The awards are made every two years to people who have given long and exceptional service to the local community.
Three Borough residents have been recognised as Citizens of Honour by the Council this year. They are:
- Stan Newell, for services to the community and the Netley and Hamble Branch of the Royal British Legion.
- Melanie Phillips, for encouraging recycling and raising money for Kicks Count.
- Pat Statham, for services to the community.
All of the awards will be conferred by the Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Cynthia Garton, in the autumn.