Guard of honour at St Mary's in Old Basing given at the funeral of popular Scout leader Ian Collins (From Andover Advertiser)
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Guard of honour at St Mary's in Old Basing given at the funeral of popular Scout leader Ian Collins
A GUARD of honour was formed by the Scouting community at the funeral of a popular Scout leader.
Ian Collins’ coffin was carried past the uniformed Scouts, Cubs and Beavers holding their flags in tribute to the 67-year-old, who died suddenly on August 12.
Around 200 family and friends gathered in St Mary’s Church, Old Basing, to say goodbye.
The service was led by The Reverend Alexander Battey, who said: “It’s wonderfully moving and stirring to see so many people gathered here.”
He talked of Mr Collins’ “passion for Scouting”, as he had been the assistant district commissioner of the Scouts in Basingstoke East, and group Scout leader in Old Basing.
He added: “We come to remember and celebrate and offer to God a life well-lived and full of many cherished memories we will share together.”
Andy Cullen, assistant commissioner, read Scout founder Lord Baden-Powell’s last message, which included the line: “Stick to your Scout Promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it.”
Various hymns were sung, including Kum Bay Yah, at the end of which the Scout Promise was read out, as the congregation hummed the tune.
Mr Collins’ brother-in-law Malcolm Piner read a poem by Rabindranath Tagore before Marilyn Ling, a family friend and Queen’s Guide, read Jesus’ parting words to his disciples.
Mr Battey then spoke about Mr Collins’ life, and how he was born prematurely and not expected to live.
He became involved in Scouting after his father received the King Scout award in 1937.
Describing Mr Collins as “remarkably capable and active”, Mr Battey added: “Each of you will have your own picture of Ian in your minds, whether munching pasties and pasta, or stretching out after Christmas dinner, or putting up tents and roaming the landscape he loved.”
Mr Collins’ family each lit a candle inside the church before Roger Heel, the Old Basing Scout Master, read a prayer taken from Scout hymns.
Following the service, Mr Collins’ family held a private farewell at Basingstoke crematorium.
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