In Sherpa culture one year after the passing of a loved one a Gongjo puja is organized. In memory of my late father Wongchu Sherpa we will have a ceremony every December 30th for the next three years. We have started a national level volleyball competition to be held at this time as well. For the first year we organized a local tournament. Next year we will expand to a district level and in three years to a national level competition.

Wongchu Sherpa remains a deeply respected figure in the Solukhumbu region and throughout Nepal. The volleyball tournament is a great way to bring the community together and celebrate the life of a man who gave so much to his people while advancing the nation as a whole through his work in the tourism industry, specifically in trekking and climbing.

The tournament, held in Khamding Village, was a great success. Many speakers came out to pay tribute to Wongchu and his legacy. The unifying theme from the speakers—which included Health Minister Mr. Gagan Thapa, parliamentarians Mr. Balbahdur K.C., Mr. Yoggya Raj Sunuwar, Chief District Officer Mr. Umesh Pande, local leader Mr. Krishna Prasad Sapkota and many other distinguished politicians, local leaders and members of the press—was the building of the Wongchu Sherpa Memorial Hospital. Many kind words were spoken not only of my father’s achievements but of his final wish to see healthcare in the form of a permanent hospital for the people of the SoluKhumbu district.

The jobs the hospital will create and the benefits to the people are enormous, which is one reason Nepal’s government has pledged to its success. Ground has been broken and construction has begun in Khamding, a short distance from Wongchu Sherpa’s home village of Chyangba.

As Solukhumbu’s Naya Shakti political representative Mr. Shyam Chettri said, “People’s deaths are of two types. One is they die and nothing remains. The other death takes him only physically but he lives forever. He is as high as Mount Everest, and his love and greatness is always with us.”

— Lakpa  Sherpa