Thursday, June 7, 2012

Farewell to Mr. Collins

I rarely write tribute posts, and to date they've all been to people who have passed on. Fortunately this one is still very much alive and kicking. He's just retiring after 27 years of working with Nova Scotia's museum community.

When I first started working for ANSM, I was told that I should go and discuss the project with Paul. I wasn't entirely clear on why I had to talk to this man, but I knew he was part of the advisory committee that was overseeing the research project. Very quickly I learned that if you wanted the inside scoop, needed a sounding board, were trying to track someone down, wanted a travel buddy for regional meetings or long distance site visits, etc etc etc ad infinitum, Paul was the guy to talk to.

When Paul got up to say thanks and goodbye, he mentioned that he's been thinking about this for a long time but hadn't figured out what to say. I completely understand how he feels. I have long-since known that I'd have to write a blog post in honour of him when he retired, and I thought of a couple images to include in this post, but what to say... How can you put into words the contribution that he has made to the heritage sector? His accomplishments are too many to count, he has impacted the work of countless people and organizations, been a mentor to emerging professionals, an advocate for community engagement and small museums...

Paul shared that he felt very privileged to have worked with so many wonderful people, and to have had the opportunity to do something so worthwhile and enjoyable. I know I echo the sentiments of all his colleagues and community museums when I wish him all the best and many worthwhile and enjoyable opportunities and adventures in his retirement.

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