Sears Canada expresses sadness at the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary

    Relationship between Sears and Sir Edmund Hillary began in 1972

    TORONTO, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - Sears Canada Inc. (TSX: SCC) today expressed its
sadness at the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the
summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. Sears and Sir Edmund
Hillary had a relationship which began in 1972 when Sears first began testing
camping gear which would eventually be sold exclusively at Sears under the
Hillary brand name.
    "I recall first meeting Sir Ed at my high school in 1974 and being so
impressed by his stories," said Dene Rogers, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Sears Canada Inc. "He is a great man. On behalf of all Sears Canada
associates, I extend my deepest condolences to his family. The Company and Sir
Ed have worked together on various projects for over three decades, and he was
part of the Sears family in many ways. We were delighted to have Sir Ed visit
Sears many times over the years. While we are saddened by his passing, he
leaves the world having accomplished a great feat and will be remembered for
the charitable work he has brought to the Sherpa people of Nepal."
    The Founder and Executive Director of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation
of Canada, Zeke O'Connor, once a Toronto Argonaut, is a retired Sears Canada
executive and accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the canoe-camping trip through
Northern Quebec's La Verendrye Park where the camping gear to carry the
Hillary name was first field tested in 1972. Soon after, Mr. O'Connor
accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary to Nepal and the two put into place plans for
the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, of which Mr. O'Connor was named
its first President. The Foundation's mission was to provide humanitarian
services in the fields of health, education, conservation and reforestation
for the Sherpas of Nepal, in the Solu Khumbu region at the foot of Mount
    At Sears Canada, we have been able to be a part of the Sir Edmund Hillary
Foundation which greatly helps the Nepalese people and their environment,"
added Mr. Rogers.
    "The news of Sir Edmund's passing means a great loss for the world," said
Zeke O'Connor, Founder and Executive Director of the Sir Edmund Hillary
Foundation. "Sir Edmund always appreciated the support of Sears Canada during
our 35 years together, and spoke to me of his continued keen interest in our
camping equipment program in a conversation I had with him just last week. The
good work that is being done through the Foundation with Sears as one of its
key supporters will continue to make a positive contribution to the peaceful
and hardworking Sherpas for whom Sir Edmund Hillary had much admiration and
    Sears Canada continues to sell camping gear bearing the Hillary name. As
well as having made financial contributions over the years, the Company also
supports the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation's administrative requirements
including the provision of office space, supplies, printing and
telecommunication equipment, and human resource assistance.

    Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 196 corporate
stores, 182 dealer stores, 57 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue
merchandise pick-up locations, 106 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home
maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes
Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping
online at

    The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada receives, maintains and
distributes funds for the purpose of helping to preserve the heritage and to
improve the quality of life of the people of the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal
by contributing to health, education, conservation and reforestation programs.
More information can be found on their website

For further information:

For further information: Contact for Media: Vincent Power, Sears Canada,
Corporate Communications, (416) 941-4422,

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