Mysterious cleaner of Changhua cemetery a Canadian teacher

02/18/2020 04:20 PM
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CNA File Photo
CNA File Photo

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) A foreign national who was spotted cleaning up trash in a cemetery in Changhua County is a Canadian who teaches English there, CNA has learned, days after a borough chief in the area said she would like to find and thank the unidentified volunteer.

After CNA published the story about the good deed, Canadian Adam Williams posted a message on CNA's Facebook page, saying he was the person who had cleaned up the litter in the cemetery.

Williams, 32, from the Canadian province of New Brunswick, said he came upon the cemetery while he was out walking during the recent Lunar New Year holiday.

"It didn't seem right that a place like that should be full of trash, so I decided to go back and clean up some of it on my next free Saturday, which was the 15th," he wrote.

The cemetery, near the Tapu drainage ditch in Changhua, was littered with trash, which filled about six large garbage bags when Williams was done.

While he was cleaning the cemetery and ditch on Feb. 15, he was spotted by a local resident who told the Yanping Borough chief Chen Wen-chia (陳雯嘉) about the volunteer.

Chen told CNA that she went to the cemetery and saw the foreign national, who had already completed the cleanup, but she could not communicate with him because of the language barrier.

According to Chen, the Tapu drainage ditch is an important flood-prevention structure in Changhua City, but residents often dump garbage, mostly household waste, on both sides of the ditch.

She said she was somewhat ashamed that it was foreign volunteer, not a local resident, who had cleaned up the area, and she wanted to properly thank him in person.

She said she later asked a member of the borough's cleanup crew, who had taken photo of the volunteer, to post the picture on Facebook, with the hope of identifying and locating the foreign national.

When Williams read the CNA story about the borough chief trying to locate him, he responded, saying he had been teaching English at cram school in Changhua for nearly three years and found living in Taiwan enjoyable.

"The people are friendly and you can always find something interesting on the side streets," he wrote.

Chen later told CNA that she would get in touch with Williams and express her gratitude to him for the good deed.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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