William Lindsay - Working on Great Wall Protection after Trekking
|William Lindsay, Chairman of of |
"Friends of the Great Wall",
picks up litter on the Great Wall
William Lindsay's childhood dream of visiting the Great Wall
William Lindsay had strong interest in the Great Wall since he was young. When in primary school, he loved studying worldwide maps and the saw-tooth line on maps caught his eyes. He made up his mind to visit the line, that is, the Great Wall of China.
William Lindsay hiked the entire Great Wall in 1987
Driven by this dream, William Lindsay set off for his Great Wall journey in 1984. However, he obviously underestimated the difficulties. Only a few days later, he became ill and had to suspend the plan. Later on, he left China sorrowfully because of the failure. After returning to his home country, Lindsay began to take more exercise and improve photography skills. He even learned some basic Chinese from a local Chinese restaurant.
With full preparation, Lindsay finally started the trip again in 1987. He spent about 160 days hiking from Jiayuguan Pass to Shanhaiguan Pass on the Great Wall. But this tall man hit trouble when he walked alone the Yulin Great Wall in northern Shaanxi Province while taking pictures, which attracted local villagers' attention. "What is he doing here? Where is he from?" They wondered. Finally, police came to investigate his motive behind his seemingly weird behavior. He explained and showed his love for the Wall, but in vain. At last, he could do nothing but leave.
No one can stop a willing heart. Though in low mood, Lindsay determined to carry on the walk. He continued the trek from Dongsheng City in Inner Mongolia and eventually arrived at Shanhaiguan, the commonly recognized eastern end of the Great Wall.
William Lindsay devoted himself to Great Wall protection after the trek
After the entire trip, Lindsay had a deeper understanding of the Great Wall and its surrounding geographic environment. “The Great Wall is absolutely the most breathtaking architecture in human history. I’m going to dedicate my life to it”. From then on, he began to partake in the Great Wall protection activities. In 1988, he organized over 120 volunteers from all over the world to pick up litter on the Great Wall. They collected more than 150 bags of trash merely between Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall. In 2000, Lindsay set up an environmental protection base near the Jiankou Great Wall and employed six villagers to collect trash along the Great Wall. Lindsay knew it was impossible to collect all the trash on the Great Wall by themselves. Therefore, he gave lectures around the country and encouraged more people to take part in this undertaking. In 2001, he established the international association "Friends of the Great Wall". With his efforts, the association now owned over 50 members and the volunteers picking up litter on the Great Wall summed up to over one thousand.
Lindsay won honors for the Great Wall protection career
Due to his contribution to protecting the Great Wall, William Lindsay was awarded the "Friendship Honorary" by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, P.R. China. In 1998, Zhu Rongji, the Chinese Premier at that time, gave him an interview. In 2006, he received the Order of the British Empire and was interviewed by the British Queen Elizabeth II, honoring his effort in protecting the Great Wall as well as in promoting the cultural relationship between China and Great Britain. In Aug. 5, 2007, Lindsay received another honor, the title of "Honorary Citizen of Yulin City". He is greatly encouraged by these awards from China and Britain and will carry on his contribution to Great Wall protection.
Romantic Love between Lindsay and his Chinese wife
During Lindsay’s Great Wall hike, he met with his Miss Right, a Chinese girl from Xi’an. Lindsay’s pure affection for the Great Wall touched the girl, and they fell in love with each other. In 1988, they got married. Inspired by Lindsay’s spirit, his wife and two sons also joined the group of protecting the Great Wall. Lindsay said, he would spend his remaining years in China for family and the Great Wall.
William Edgar Geil - The First One Hiked the Entire Great Wall of China: He took 3 months and finished in 1908.
Dong Yaohui Hiked the Entire Great Wall: He took 508 days and completed on September 24, 1985
Liu Yutian – the First Person Hiked the Great Wall Alone: He took 2 years and finished on April 5, 1986.
Sally - the Only Woman Walked the Entire Great Wall of China Alone: She took half a year to hike in 1990.
Ren Erlin & Ren Zigeng – Chinese Father and Son Trekked the Great Wall: They took 89 days and finished the hiking in 2003.
Jamie Bradish & Rob England - a US Pair Took 10 Months to Walk the Great Wall: They finished in 2007.
Stephen Robert Loken – the First Person Walked to the East End of Hushan Great Wall: He took 601 days and completed in 2011.
How to Hike the Full Length of the Great Wall of China? 8,851.8 km!
How Long to Walk the Great Wall of China?
Has anyone walked the Great Wall of China?
Abel P. de Vries architect BNA