Ask Al Jordan about the Greater Burgess Community Association and he’ll quickly tick off the accomplishments of the board, the forward-thinking residents who established the civic organization and the members of the organization that promotes the 28-square-mile community.
Talk to June Jordan about environmental issues and she’ll refer you to any number of people who have taken a leadership role in opposition to drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic, in eliminating plastic that harms the oceans, in spreading the word about the growing pollution in the Atlantic and the roadways along the South Strand and beyond.
Caring for their community quietly is what the pair does best. They are not flashy. He most often can be found in shirt sleeves and pants, a sweater being his concession to outerwear. June is just as comfortable in pants and a shirt as she is in dresses or skirts, which she reserves for more formal occasions, such as when the organization Stop Oil Drilling in the Atlantic or SODA, was named conservationist of the year.
Al and June work side by side to improve their adopted home in Indigo Creek. They’ve done that since they first moved into the development in 1994, after Al retired from Kettering, Ohio, a Dayton suburb, where he was assistant city manager.
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For Al, now 77, moving to a leadership role in the Greater Burgess Community Association was a natural progression. He became a board member of the Indigo Creek Community Association soon after moving into the neighborhood and joined the Greater Burgess Community Association board in 2006. In 2007, he became president of the GBCA, a post he maintains today.
He said that many of the precepts that the association’s founders followed are still adhered to.
“Mr. Wilbur [Marlow] was a fine southern gentleman who understood that this area was going to develop whether he liked it or not. So it was his efforts to guide that development in the most positive way possible,” Al Jordan said.
The organization’s efforts are as simple – at least on the surface – as organizing the Burgess Community cleanup and as complex as working with Horry County planning staff to develop bike and pedestrian trails in the community and putting together an area plan, adopted in 2012, that helps manage growth in one of the two fastest developing areas of the county.
Included in that plan is an intent to discourage any attempt to rezone residential property to commercial on McDowell Shortcut Road. The county notifies Jordan on any rezoning request that comes before it and suggests the petitioner contact Jordan, who is always willing to meet with the petitioner. And the community association gives a recommendation based on zoning maps and community plans, not to mention the needs of the community.
Usually when the association speaks, the county listens. “It’s a partnership,” Jordan explains.
And the association’s approach has helped to ensure commercial development along Holmestown Road is discouraged.
“The neighbors on Holmestown Road have an understanding attitude,” Jordan said. “They really don’t like commercial development on Holmestown Road, but they realize that there already is commercial development. But they don’t want any more.
“This is primarily a black area, these people were here first. They are descendents of the original residents, slaves freed from the plantations, and if these people are pushed out, they aren’t going to find a place in Horry County,” Jordan continued.
June Jordan uses her design training to create brochures, to take photographs and to illustrate her environmental interests and affiliations. Just as she designed the covers for the Kettering budget she designs the announcements that herald the quarterly meetings of the Greater Burgess Community Association.
June Jordan laughs as easily as her husband, especially when he says he spends about 20 to 30 hours a week on behalf of the Burgess Community. The couple shares a home office and while they may be working on separate projects, they also bounce ideas off each other.
Her photographs have won recognition from Georgetown County and she has displayed her work at the Waccamaw Neck and Surfside branch libraries. She was a board member of the Murrells Inlet Community Theatre, which disbanded this year after an 18 year run.
She filled some of her extra time with creating drawings for the latest edition of Sullie Saves the Seas, a coloring book version of Goffinet McLaren’s tale of the seagull that tries to save the ocean from pollution.
“I had seen her work,” McLaren said of Jordan. “It was a natural.”
It also is a natural for the Jordans to avoid publicity. “It’s not about me,” says Al Jordan, when talking about the Burgess Community. “There’s a nine-member board that gets things done. I’m just one member of that board.”
For information on GBCA go to http://greaterburgesscommunity.org/ where you can print out a Membership Form. Also, check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/greaterburgesscommunityassociation.