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Dennis F. Collins 1930 – 2017

Class of 1948

Dennis began his education at The High School of Dundee in September 1935, following in the footsteps of both his mother, Mabel Constance Crichton, and his grandfather, Alexander Black Crichton.

There was never a year at the School when Dennis was not one of the prize-winners, and he was often a ‘dux’ in later years, up until the age of sixteen when he was struck down with tuberculosis. This sadly ended his school days, and almost his life. After spending the vast majority of 1947 in Ashludie Sanatorium, he was finally allowed home. In March 1949, he passed his University entrance exams, going on to study Law at the University of St Andrews, where he graduated with an MA, and LLB.

From University, he served his Legal Apprenticeship with Gray, Robertson & Wilkie, became a Partner at Pollock & Smith, and after two amalgamations, Senior Partner for eighteen years of Carlton Gilruth, which later merged with Blackadders. He eventually retired in 1993, aged 63.

Further to this, Dennis was also a Lecturer in Scots Law at the University of St Andrews, and subsequently at the University of Dundee from 1960 to 1979. He became Dean of the Faculty of Procurators and Solicitors in Dundee in 1988 until 1990, and was the final Dean to be assigned the title of an Honorary Sheriff. Moreover, he was a Writer to the Signet, and from 1976, also the Agent Consulaire de France in Dundee for twenty years.

For over a century, his family belonged to Ward Chapel, now known as Dundee Congregational Church, and of which Dennis had acted as Church Treasurer since 1966. Furthermore, he was a member of the Guildry, serving as an Assessor to the Lord Dean of Guild, and successively becoming Clerk and Archivist to the same.

Additionally, Dennis was Joint Chairman of Lord Armitstead’s Dundee Trust, a Trust responsible for the annual distribution of its income to Dundee charities and schools. He also acted as Honorary Secretary to the Dundee Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for over twenty-five years.

Other personal interests ranged from golf and angling in his earlier days, to family and local history in more recent times, but always there were golden retrievers, and his love of gardening. Throughout his life he was a keen philatelist, being a member of the Dundee and District Philatelic Society for over seventy years, and a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of London since 1995.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Elspeth, to whom he had been married for fifty-five years, their daughter Catriona (Class of 1980), son Ross (Class of 1982), and four grandchildren Lucy, Alastair, Fergus and Fiona. Fergus and Fiona are both current pupils, meaning they are the fifth consecutive generation to attend the School.

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High School of Dundee
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