Pop­u­lar teacher farewelled

Wanneroo Weekender - - Front Page - Lucy Jarvis

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.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d475141

Jess Collins pays trib­ute to her fa­ther at his funeral.

Al­lan Collins, a ‘great per­son’

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