B. J. Collins 1958 -2002  

By Darryl

Brian was a great big loveable bear of a man.
He did what we all strive to do in this life.
He fully lived up to the dreams, hopes and aspirations of his parents.
He was a terrific son.
He was a warm and loving husband.
He was a devoted and proud father.
He was a strong and true friend to his in-laws.
He was an honest and loyal friend to many.
And he was a truly great brother. 

Brian was full of life. He lived every minute of every day as if it were his last.

He made friends easily and had an instinctive ability to always know when someone needed him.

He had his quirks. To be honest, that is what made him unique and helped us all to love him!

Brian could be clumsy. He couldn’t walk across a room without tripping over a stranger and making a new friend. Often a friend for life. Lorna long ago stopped buying him suede shoes - the stains were too hard to remove! 

Brian was very strong. There are many here who were caught at sometime in his embrace – his big affectionate bear hug.
His life revolved around family, friends and sport – although not always in that order!

He rowed for Coleraine Inst. and represented the school at Henley Regatta. He played senior rugby for North, Lisburn and the Granite City and went on many tours and trips with the clubs. Not much was ever revealed, but we always suspected he had a good time!

And Brian loved his golf, particularly driving long and hard down the fairway in the White Horse League. There were few who could match his power and accuracy. At last count he had five sets of clubs scattered around the world. It was symbolic of his many friendships that he would be needing them at short notice.

Brian loved the life of a student. He did well at his O and A levels and went to Queens to study Civil Engineering.
So suited was he to student life that his mother often said that if he had been paid to go to university he would still be there!

He would display unconcern at impending exams. He would leave studying to the last minute so as not to interrupt his pleasures. But when it was almost too late, he would cram like crazy, pass his exams and come out smelling of roses.

After graduating, he discovered the possibilities and rewards of the oil business. He moved to Aberdeen and quickly made many new friends, some of whom are here today.

But he still missed student life. No one was surprised when he enrolled again to do an MBA. We were surprised and delighted however when he completed the course and graduated! 

Brian took a long time to find the love of his life. When he was asked why it took so long he said, in typical fashion, “Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs!”

But he finally found his one true love, Lorna.

Brian and Lorna married in Scotland. The sight of BJ in a kilt still brings a smile.

When they eventually moved back to Northern Ireland, both sets of parents were delighted - they were settling down at last and enjoying their life together.

The international oil business was ideal for Brian. He could work hard and train hard while he was away. And he could play hard and enjoy family life when he was at home. He could even find time for a crossword puzzle or two.

Brian always had time for his family and always had time for his friends.

The cards, emails and letters the family have received in recent days are testament to the effect he had on the many people he met throughout his life.

Once met, never forgot. 

When Ethan was born, it was clearly the happiest day of Brian’s life. He finally had the son he always wanted.

When Archie was born a few years later, it was the icing on the cake.

Two boys!
The fun they would have together.
The adventures and the laughs…

However it is not to be.

Although he lived more in 45 years than many do in 70, his life has been tragically cut short.
I can only think to end with a phrase Brian often said to me when were parting.

“Remember the good times – keep her lit”