Vivian Hahn, Tillsonburg’s Citizen of the Year in 2007, is well-known in town as ‘the lady who picked up litter’ for two decades (and 13 years in Norwich before that), often wearing a familiar orange shirt with the slogan ‘Don’t litter our towns & cities.’ But after cleaning up around town for 36 years Vivian was eventually unable to continue; at 86 she doesn’t get around like she used to, and after a fall last year, that she blames on wearing heels and getting caught on a rug, which fractured her pelvis, she had to give up walking her routes. She still picks up trash where she can in her walker but without being able to tackle the whole town some came to the conclusion she must have passed away!
She wants people to know that she is not, in fact, dead but alive and still kicking. But just because Hahn can’t go around cleaning up doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! You see, a year ago Bobbie Williams retired from teaching music (guitar, vocal and piano) out of her home for 17 years, in Brantford, and moved to Tillsonburg. She said she made the decision to start cleaning up back in March, “Everywhere I walked there was so much garbage,” she said, citing two areas that were particularly troublesome. “I was in all these places multiple times walking my dog.” Williams said she was always interested in the environment and has been inspired by The David Suzuki Foundation. That is how she ended up on her walks picking up litter 3-4 times per week in areas including Quarter Town Line, the Veteran’s Walkway, Concession Street, Kinsmen Participark, and even Tillson Avenue, and trying to reach each of her routes every couple of weeks.
It was inevitable that when you have such a recognized figure like Hahn and then someone else comes along to take up their activity that the two would meet, which is what happened recently, and Vivian Hahn was happy to pass on her legacy. But you can read about that in your Good News Story of the Day here. For now take inspiration from these remarkable women and recognize that you too can make enough of a difference in your community to be noticed if you take action. Even bringing a bag along on a walk and cleaning up what litter you find makes a significant change.
Story and Image from Tillsonburg News.