86-Year-Old Man Shares Private Island with 120 Tortoises
This odd but awesome living situation didn't happen overnight. Grimshaw bought Moyenne Island in 1964 for 10,000 pounds. Over the years, he planted 16,000 trees, built 4.8 kilometers of nature paths and introduced 111 tortoises to his island. While he is the only permanent resident of Moyenne, Grimshaw makes his piece of paradise open to all who would like to visit.
Today, this relatively untouched land is part of Sainte Anne Marine National Park, a system of six islands. Grimshaw has helped boost the native tortoise population, now offering a home for 120 of the creatures that can live up to 180 years.
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But all of this could change. Currently, Moyenne Island is worth $50 million. Luxury hotel companies are eager to buy and build on Grimshaw's land. All the other islands of Sainte Anne Marine National Park have given in to the impressive sums hoteliers have offered, but the simplicity-loving Grimshaw refuses to sell. He is steadfast in his belief that the island should stay as it is, with as little human interference as possible.
Grimshaw has no children, so there are no heirs to the paradise he has guarded so closely. As a result, hotel companies are lining up, waiting for the man to die so they can make their bids. Locals are divided over what should be done with Moyenne Island. Some say that the pristine island should remain untouched and that hotels would only take more business away from the native population. Others believe that Moyenne Island should be built upon so more money and tourism can be brought into the area.
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The documentary "A Grain of Sand" is working to reveal the heart behind Grimshaw's mission and to save Moyenne Island from major development. The filmmakers are moved by what Grimshaw has done with his life and hate the idea of it being erased after he dies. For Grimshaw, the idea of death is still far away. He plans to do everything he can for his island and its tortoises before that day comes.