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Société des Missions Africaines – Province d'Irlande

COLLINS Gerald né le 16 février 1902 à Belfast
dans le diocèse de Down & Connor (Irlande)
membre de la SMA le 20 avril 1924
décédé le 13 juin 1960

1924-1960 au service des maisons de Ballinafad, de Cork
et surtout de Dromantine (plus de 30 ans)

décédé à Belfast, Irlande, le 13 juin 1960,
à l’âge de 58 ans


Le frère Gerald COLLINS (1902 - 1960)

A Belfast, en Irlande, le 13 juin 1960, retour à Dieu du cher frère Gerald Collins, à l'âge de 58 ans.

Gerald Collins naquit dans le diocèse de Down & Connor (Irlande) en 1902. Il entrait aux Missions Africaines en 1922 et faisait le serment en 1924. Il avait de nombreuses aptitudes pour le travail de bureau et pour le travail manuel: électricien, zingueur et plombier. Le frère Gerald Collins fut successivement attaché à nos écoles apostoliques de Ballinafad et Cork. Il fut ensuite nommé au grand séminaire de Dromantine où il passé plus de 30 ans. Le frère Gerald n'avait pas une très forte santé et souffrait de l'estomac. Il avait un caractère un peu réservé. C'était un confrère pieux et qui aimait à rendre service. Il fut longtemps secrétaire de "Auntis" à Dromantine.


Brother Gerald COLLINS (1902 - 1960)

Gerald Collins was born in Belfast, in the diocese of Down and Connor, on 16 February 1902. He died in his brother's residence, at Riverdale Park, Falls Road, Belfast, on 13 June 1960.

Gerald (Gerry) was a brother of James Collins, well known in Nationalist circles in Belfast and for many years a Nationalist member of Belfast Corporation. Gerry came to the S.M.A. in 1922. He took his first temporary oath of membership on 20 April 1924. He renewed that oath until 1930 when it became permanent. Two years later Gerry requested a dispensation from his oath, feeling that his future did not lie with the Society. However, after a period of discernment he withdrew his request and for the next thirty years he was to give faithful service to the Society. The crisis in Gerry's life which occurred in 1932 which led to his request for a dispensation was precipitated partly by ill-health, but also by a certain unhappiness. This was caused mainly by the policy of the Province at that time not to give Brothers mission appointments. Shortly before seeking the dispensation Gerry had asked the Provincial for a posting to Africa and had been informed that this was not possible. The Province's policy on this vital matter was changed at the Provincial Assembly of 1958. Those who subsequently went to the missions justified the confidence placed in them and played a distinguished role in building up the Church in Africa.

Gerry spent the early years of his career attached to St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork, and the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo. Later he was appointed to the major seminary at Dromantine, Co Down, where he was to spend more than 30 years. Gerry had an aptitude for 'desk work' but was also well versed in the practical skills, especially electrical work and plumbing. He acted for many years as secretary to Martin Lavelle who wrote a most successful 'children's column' for the African Missionary. ('Auntie's Column'), the Province's magazine which was a vital instrument in promoting its work. Gerry was also associated with the Candle Factory begun at Dromantine by John Murphy. Gerry became sales manager, travelling the length and breadth of several of the northern dioceses over many years and always by public transport. He was also associated with the winery which provided altar wine, imported from the continent and bottled by the Society, to parishes in many counties. Gerry is particularly remembered by students who were in Dromantine during the war years for the manner in which he discharged his duty as 'fire warden' (and air-raid warning siren). It was his responsibility to ring the bell whenever danger threatened. Gerry took no chances and the students did not always appreciate being disturbed from their slumbers at an unearthly hour.

In November 1959 Gerry entered hospital for the removal of a tumour. He was hospitalised again in March 1960 after which his doctors advised a period of four months rest before returning to work. With the permission of the Provincial superior, John A. Creaven, Gerry went to his brother, Patrick, in Belfast to spend this period of convalescence. However his condition deteriorated. He was in his fifty-eight year at the time of his death.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.