Saving The World For Personal Greed
James Stewart Merrylees emmigrated to New Zealand from Scotland fifty-five years ago. New Zealand was his dream country. Not only was it warmer than Scotland, one could also grow lemons in the backyard!
Before that, in 1941, James accompanied his father, who was stationed in India and spoke fluent Pashtu, to the North-West Frontier region to help 'buy peace' amongst the various tribes. The tribes accorded nineteen-year-old James more importance than they did his father because he was the first-born son, the heir!
In New Zealand, James worked mostly in the construction business before reluctantly retiring at the age of sixty-five. Now James rummages through garbage dumps and railway yards looking for treasures and to pass his time. He is also in-charge of the rubbish collection of Swanson School.
James has a vast collection of Coca Cola cans, railway tickets (which he reckons will have more value once the electronic passes come into being) and all kinds of odds and ends. Recently on his eightieth birthday people gifted him more 'rubbish' like the insulators off overhead telephone wires. He says he saves the world because of his personal greed for finding, collecting and recycling things and not because he is altruistic or an environmentalist!The man and his cottage are legend in the Waitakere region.
Sapna Samant spends an afternoon with Jim Merrylees at his home on Christian Road, Swanson and has a serious discourse on how to save the world for personal greed.