Including the Jims : An Open Petition to Wikipedia
Our world and our communities are built on the contributions of every day people. Every day people who donate their time, who throughout their lives do things that inspire us. Everyday people like my grandfather Jim Gardiner. Last week, I tried to add a Wikipedia page about him. I believed what he did in his life was inspiring - perhaps even notable. I thought wouldn't it be great if somewhere on the web there was a record of his life, of his contributions. The article I added is now marked for deletion by the Wikipedia Community. Jim is not considered notable enough, despite the fact there are hundreds of thousands of pages devoted to football players, crime figures and fictional characters. There is even a page for Steven Slater, the airline host that abused a passenger, grabbed a beer and then abruptly exited the plane. Despite the fact that Wikipedia seems to have enough space for these people, there isn't enough space on Wikipedia for my Grandfather. There isn't enough room for the 'Jims' of the world. This is my petition. A petition I have created to send to Wikipedia to ask them to rethink their definition of 'notable'. To ask them to not just rescue my Grandfathers page, but to include the other 'Jims' of the world. Join me in letting Wikipedia know that our world values everyday people who do inspiring things and that we want our global community to be able to remember them. Below is an overview of what my Grandfather achieved in his life, incase you are interested. Who is this Jim guy anyway? My Grandfather Jim Gardiner wasn't a rich man. He never had a fancy house. He didn't care about fancy cars or having the latest things. He never wanted to be famous. Jim was born in 1903 and lived his entire life in a town called Ipswich. He worked as an engineer for the local railway and he loved his wife Mona and his eight children and his many grandchildren. What makes Jim 'notable' is that Jim believed that every child deserved to be able to swim. He donated his time to the community and throughout his life taught 25 000 people in his local community to swim. He also tirelessly led fundrasing so that an Olympic size swimming pool could be built in the town. He achieved this dream in 1961 when the pool was opened. Twenty years later, it was officially named the 'Jim Gardiner' pool. The pool was opened in 1961. In 1981, it was officially named the Jim Gardiner Swimming Centre. In his lifetime, Jim: - was named Ipswich Citizen of the Year - received the British Empire Medal in 1979. In 2000, the pool was demolished. In its place a Commemorative Gateway was built and opened in 2003. Communities change, they grow, they evolve. Parcels of empty land become unit blocks, small roads become highways. As these things happen, we lose the remnants of parts of our community. We lose the bits of evidence that are part of the stories of how our communities are built. We lose insights into the contributions of wonderful people that make communities what they are meant to be. I think these things are worth saving. That's why I call on all of you to sign this petition. I want to remember the Jims.