Like many of the folks who travel to Antarctica and parts thereabouts, I was lucky to meet Sir Edmund Hillary. He was at McMurdo Station in summer 96/97, and gave a great lecture in the old Galley about what it was like leading a traverse to South Pole and helping to establish the New Zealand station, Scott Base.
My one anecdote about Sir Ed is that when I went to greet him after the lecture we shook hands. In my hand I was holding the St. Christopher medal that I've had since third grade, and still wear everyday. This St. Chris has been all over the world with me, and I've sometimes loaned it out to friends to guarantee their safe travels. I also have a Kiwi 5 pound note that he graciously autographed for me. It's not often that you get to meet a living legend such as Sir Ed, and my world is much richer for our brief encounter. He was a great old soul.