Popular teacher farewelled
ALLAN (David) Collins took on many roles in his life – husband, father, teacher, volunteer, cyclist and grandfather – and was much loved in all of them.
Hundreds of people filled a church on Monday to remember and celebrate the life of the 69year-old man who died when his motorised bicycle fell into the path of a train at Greenwood station last month.
The Greenwood grandfather was a retired teacher and volunteer whose influence on others was evident at the October 16 Seasons Funerals service at Trinity North Uniting Church.
Allan was born on May 17, 1948 and is survived by his wife Jude, children Jess and Josh and two grandchildren.
“The person he was most proud of in his family was his wife, Jude,” Jess said in her eulogy. Last Thursday their anniversary for meeting was 50 years – they had been married 45 years. Dad used to disappear for long stretches of time, usually at meal time.
“We would find out later that he was busy helping someone.”
Mr Collins volunteered at Wheelchairs for Kids and at the Edmund Rice Centre, teaching English to refugees.
“Dad believed very strongly in education and teaching was his passion,” Jess said.
“He believed everybody had a right to learn to read and write.”
Jess said her father had also been helping his granddaughter this year and loved to ride his bike, not letting a disability diagnosis 15 years ago hold him back.
Son Josh said family and friends were important to his father and described him as charitable and social.
“Looking around today we can see how dad was loved,” he said.
“Dad had a unique talent to harness and share your interests, whatever it may be.
“I feel it is why he made such a good teacher as he saw something special in each of his students and he drew that ability out.
“One of the greatest gifts that Dad gave me, apart from a wonderful upbringing, was awakening me academically.
“Like teaching me how to cycle with training wheels; he helped me with university, practically re-writing my first assignments and slowly over time with his help I grew in confidence.”
Josh said they had a fun upbringing, “exploring Perth one family cycle at a time” and the ocean and rivers in the family boat.
“For Dad, being a father to Jess and I and husband to Mum was cathartic,” he said.
“I truly believe that Dad obtained what he wanted out of life.”
Jess read letters from Allan’s sisters, who described him as a “great person” who had an “enthusiasm for life that was infectious”.
Minister Brian Richards said the service was to give thanks for Allan’s life and share in the sorrow of those mourning his death.
Mr Richards said Allan served the community in many ways, showed commitment to whatever task was ahead of him and demonstrated courage facing sickness and disability. The service included the hymns Amazing
Grace and For You Deep Stillness, and people laid flowers from their gardens on the coffin.
Jess Collins pays tribute to her father at his funeral.
Allan Collins, a ‘great person’