Richard passes away at grand old age of 98

Richard Norman Collins
Richard Norman Collins

RICHARD Norman Collins, late of Harmony Fold, Lisburn and formerly of Belsize Road, passed away on November 9, at the age of 98.

Norman, who was awarded for his military services became a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1962, was born in Gilnahirk and one of the better-known personalities in Lisburn, having spent 62 years of his life here.

He was Captain and President of the Golf Club, and a founder member and president of the Rotary Club. He was also a member of the British Legion and the Bridge Club, and was well known in Masonic circles.

He was born in Gilnahirk, raised in Belfast and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Queen’s University. He graduated as a civil engineer and took up a post with Belfast Corporation in 1936.

He was called up in October 1939 and became a Major in the Royal Engineers, serving in India and then Burma with the Chindits behind enemy lines until 1945.

After the war he joined the Territorial Army where he became a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

In 1946, he worked in Strabane for the local council, then moved to Lisburn in 1950 as the Rural Council Surveyor until 1969, when the Rural and Urban Councils were amalgamated.

Norman took on the Engineer and Surveyor jobs for the combined Borough until he moved to the Department of the Environment in Belfast in 1973.

He married the late Winifred Maude while on leave in 1942, and they had a very fulfilling and happy life together until she sadly passed away in 2001.

He is survived by daughter Judith (Canada), son David (South Africa) and grandson Timothy.

A Service of Thanksgiving for his life will take place today (Friday) at 11am in First Lisburn Presbyterian Church. A private committal will follow.