A long time ago in a land far away, six seven years olds put on Cub Scout attire and headed for the Indian Meal Line and Trails End for their first-ever camp with the First St.John’s Boy Scout Troup. One Deñnis Meaney was the Cub Scout Master, John Doyle, the Pontifex Maximus, and it was not long before many of the little boys were crying, this being their first time away from their parents and home, even though both were but twenty minutes drive away. Bill Collins, Gerry Angel, Greg O’Keefe, Terry Stack, Ed Thorburn, and Gary Mooney are names I remember, though there may have been some I forget. Sixty-five years clouds such memories. Now there are only three remaining, Thorburn, Stack and me, the others having transitioned, most recently William August Collins, QC, and it is him I choose to honour today. I have lived for fifty-eight years in the Newfoundland diaspora, but these knights-errant of my childhood and youth forever shine brightly.
Bill is now being deservedly honoured by his Brother and Sister Barristers of the Newfoundland Bar. Some hail him as the best Criminal Litigator of his generation and speak with admiration of his unique skills when addressing a Jury. He was all of that and more, and he deserved Silk. However, I choose to recall an old and dear friend, whom I kept in sporadic contact all through those sixty-five intervening years. Wise, humble, gentle and kind was he, and I will always remember him