Sir Paul Reeves
Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO (6 December 1932 – 14 August 2011), had a distinguished public life. Trained for ordination in the Anglican Church, he progressed from service as a deacon in 1958 and a priest in 1960, to Bishop of Waiapu in 1971, Bishop of Auckland in 1979, and Archbishop of New Zealand in 1980.
He was appointed Governor General in November 1985, on the advice of Prime Minister David Lange. Sir Paul was the first person of Maori descent to take the position, and Iwi leaders welcomed his appointment as a significant step toward the spirit of cooperation described in the Treaty of Waitangi.
Not only did Sir Paul bring his mana to Bream Head, in his meetings with the Trustees he projected his total commitment to protection of the environment and the responsibilities of this generation to begin mitigating the damage done by human habitation. He recognised the inherent value of Bream Head (Te Whara) as a unique surviving example of an earlier landscape. As both an environmentalist and an educationalist, he saw its potential as an educational resource for promoting teaching and learning to succeeding generations in their guardianship ofNew Zealand’s heritage.
Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Ed, (as he was affectionally known to all) was best known as the conqueror of Mt Everest with Sherpa Tensing Norgay during an expedition led by Sir John Hunt in 1953. He turned to Antarctic exploration and led theNew Zealandsection of the Trans-Antarctic expedition from 1955 to 1958. In 1958 he participated in the first mechanized expedition to the South Pole. Hillary went on to organize further mountain-climbing expeditions but, as the years passed, he became increasingly concerned with the welfare of the Nepalese people. In the 1960s, he returned toNepal, to aid in the development of the society, building clinics, hospitals and 17 schools.
In accepting patronship of the Trust, Sir Edmund Hillary said, “A new century has dawned and with it the realisation that we now stand at the crossroads – the planet’s survival is in our hands, and each of us must contribute to the process of renewal and restoration. With your help, the forests of Bream Head will flourish again and be filled with bird song.”