Former Grand Knight of Knights of St Columba travels to Japan, laying a banner at the Hiroshima peace shrine

John Collins, a resident of Hanwell in west london, joined the Knights of St Columba in 1968 and is still an active member of both Our Lady and St Joseph’s parish church, writes Peter Oliver.

Mr Collins has held the offices of Grand Knight (group chairman) and spirituality and welfare officer as well as being active on a provincial level as district deputy and quiz master. He is a property manager for an Ealing-based estate agent.

In early November, he fulfilled an ambition and ventured to Japan, leaving his wife, Anne, at home, travelling with a tour organised by a company called Just You. He recalled that he travelled on a new two storey Airbus that had a camera in the tail “so you could sit and watch it on the television as it taxied down the runway”. Later he laid a banner at the Hiroshima peace shrine.