Okay, we all hear enough about Save the Planet, but do we ever get off the couch and do something? Today a group from the community travels to Charlotte to visit the county’s recycling center and learn more about what can be recycled and reused from our weekly waste. That’s a good start but let’s change directions for a moment and think about a different kind of waste: water. How many of us let the faucet run while we brush our teeth or rinse a plate. How about those 20 minute showers? We expect clean water 24/7 from our taps. But statistics tell us that of the six billion people on earth, 1.1 billion do not have access to safe, clean drinking water.
Today Around Davidson focuses on former Davidsonian Gill Holland Jr. noting his “Green” work in Louisville, Ky., and his film about water, as well as current Davidsonians Hayden Boyd and Ben Wyatt working with a simple shallow well program to bring clean drinking water to villages in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are also a few Noteworthy Notes about upcoming events in our town and a chance meeting of two young people in Raleigh with Davidson connections.
GREEN TECHNOLOGY AND A LOVE OF WATER WITH GILL HOLLAND
Gill Holland Jr., son of Siri and Gill Holland of Davidson, has made quite a name for himself. A graduate of UNC-CH and UNC Law School, Gill has worked in film for years. Now married to Augusta Brown Holland and living in Louisville, KY, with a daughter, Cora (3) and twins, Lilla and Owsley (1), Gill is passionate about film making and “green” technology. Google his name and numerous sites appear. Many in our town saw the movie “Sweet Land” (2005) for which he was the executive producer. In 2008 his film, “Mountain Top Removal,” won honors at the Nashville Film Festival and found him on the stage with Al Gore receiving recognition. Gill and his wife, Augusta, are well known in Louisville for their award winning project, “The Green Building,” a renovated 110-year-old former dry goods store which was the first commercial building in Louisville to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certified. They are working hard on all things “Green.” (Check out www.thegreenbuilding.net and www.carbonnation.tv)
Last Spring Gill came to Davidson College for a showing of the 84-minute 2008 documentary, “Flow: For Love of Water.” While on campus he spoke to classes on environmental matters and film making. “Flow” won an international award and competed at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary concentrates on the big business of privatization of water and is a most thought-provoking film now available on DVD.
(Our thanks to Gill for sharing a recent family photo taken in Louisville on the occasion of the christening of their twins. How nice to catch up with young people who grew up in Davidson and now are launching wonderful careers.)
THE EXCITEMENT OF CLEAN WATER
Watch the trailer for “Flow: For Love of Water,” and you will have a greater appreciation for what Hayden Boyd and Ben Wyatt are doing to make a difference with clean water in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working through Marion Medical Mission (MMM) (www.marionmedical.org), Ben has raised money for the construction of three shallow wells and Hayden is volunteering his time “in the field” in remote areas of Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia to oversee installation of the wells.
A seventh grader at Cannon School, Ben is the son of James and Edna Wyatt. Started as a school project, he has taken his Power Point presentation “One World” (addressing the lack of clean water in Africa) to school classes, clubs and local groups and received donations from many to support the shallow well program. His checks to MMM totaling $750 will make it possible for three villages to have a new well with a clean, safe, sustainable source of drinking water and greatly reduce their suffering from water-borne diseases.
Hayden Boyd, a longtime volunteer with MMM, is passionate about improving the quality of life through clean water in Malawi and neighboring countries. He and his wife, Margot Leydic-Boyd, spent years living in the area while he was teaching at the Malawi’s University of Mzuzu. Hayden can attest to the nomadic life of a shallow well supervisor who is “working from sun-up to sun-down in heat and dust, traveling where no truck has been before, braving non-existent roads and bridges, dancing, laughing, crying, sometimes skipping several meals, and loving every second of it.” Why does he continue to travel “on his own dime” to do this? Just ask him when he returns later in October from his umpteenth mission trip – and in the meantime study the attached photo of the children enjoying clean water for the very first time.
Hats off to Gill, Ben and Hayden who are making a difference with our taken-for-granted resource – water.
“THE TRIAL” OPENS TOMORROW
Don’t miss all the excitement of the Grand Opening of the film, “The Trial” tomorrow and Saturday at Our Town Cinema in Sadler Square Shopping center. This film is based on the book of the same name by local author (and attorney) Robert Whitlow and produced by Gary Wheeler of Huntersville. Shot locally, it is a courtroom drama you will want to see. Friday afternoon and early evening, Gary will be on hand to talk about the film and sign autographs and posters. What fun! See you there. (See David Boraks’s interview with Mr. Wheeler and preview of “The Trial” on our Guide page, “Local film ‘The Trial’ premieres here this weekend”)
ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE
Next Monday, Sept. 13, the Davidson College Presbyterian Church will sponsor a Red Cross Blood Drive from 2-7 p.m. in the Congregation House on Concord Road. The need is great after summer vacations so stop by and get in line. Walk-ins are welcome but if you want a specific appointment time, contact Miriam Bode at 704.896.1314.
IT’S A SMALL WORLD
Grier Martin, son of D.G. and Harriet Martin of Chapel Hill and grandson of the late Grier and Louise Martin of Davidson, was going door-to-door in the sweltering Raleigh heat campaigning for another term in the NC House when a pamphlet he left with a homeowner turned into a new friendship with none other than Blain Woods. Blain is the son of Sheena Woods and the late Jimmy Woods who died in Vietnam in the 1960s. Blain is also the grandson of the late Dr. Jim and Elizabeth Woods of Davidson.
It turns out that these young men had much in common. Their dads were classmates from sixth grade all the way through Davidson College. Now both live in Raleigh with families of their own and hope to get together frequently. Grier and his wife, Louise, have a daughter, Sara (7). Blain and his wife have a 13-year-old son, John (named after our own Mayor John Woods, Blain’s uncle) and an 11-year-old son named James (or Jim) after his late grandfather and great grandfather. What a wonderful chance meeting of two fine young people with great Davidson names!
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Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at email@example.com.