A Fireman's Friend poster created by UMass Dartmouth graduate Matthew Gill '99; poster sale proceeds go to help survivors of Nine-Eleven
Matthew Gill travels the world with a camera, abundant curiosity, and a magnanimous heart. He's been all over, from China and Iceland to a road trip across America. Not only has he taken an extraordinary range of photographs, he's also written about his experiences, observations, and feelings.
Now the 1999 graduate in history from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is writing about something he could not have wanted or imagined he would ever see. On September 11, 2001, his cousin Paul Gill, a firefighter in New York, and 14 other men from Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9, became casualties of the World Trade Center collapse and that of the adjacent Marriott hotel.
"I was in China and I couldn't be with my American friends and family at that time, and I had to grieve from afar when it became known that my cousin had died," he said. So when he returned home, the Weymouth resident decided to work through his grief by doing something positive for the survivors of that horrible day.
A Fireman's Friend is a full color photographic collection of 33 different fire hydrants from towns in the Boston and Suburban South Shore area. The piece was originally presented as an inaugural gift to the first Mayor, and Fire Chief of The City of Weymouth, David Madden.
Today the poster serves a different purpose. In posttcards to friends, firefighters, and anyone who might be interested, he writes: "With your support, my goal is to raise $5000 from sales of posters I've had printed of "A Fireman's Friend," to assist, in any way, the living, grieving members of Engine House 54, for their work is still to be done." To date he's sold 360 posters.
Each 19" x 27" full color poster costs $15 (plus $3 shipping/handling). They are on sale at the UMass Dartmouth Campus Store on the ground floor of the campus center. They can also be purchased by mail:
Matthew Gill/Fireman's Friend 99 Thompson Road Weymouth, Ma 02191 USA
You can reach Matthew Gill at (781) 331-0634 or email, (firstname.lastname@example.org).