Colin Haskins was born in Chichester, England, the eldest child of Bernard and Elizabeth Haskins. Growing up in the nearby village of Birdham, Colin enjoyed roaming the village streets and the waterways of nearby Chichester Harbour and Birdham Pool.
He was much influenced in those early years by the events of the war, watching with fascination the aerial dogfights during the Battle of Britain and the build-up to the Normandy invasion.
He told a memorable story of tasting real chocolate for the first time in 1944, given to him by a young Canadian serviceman whom he later remarkably met again many years later in the late 1950s while a crew member on the tugboats on the west coast of BC.
As a young teenager, Colin had emigrated with his parents and siblings to Vancouver, where he finished school at Lord Byng High School in Dunbar. After a short stint working on the tugboats, Colin joined Canadian Telephones & Supplies (CT&S) in 1958, starting as an apprentice.
He spent most of his working career with CT&S, later part of BC Tel, working his way up from Shopman to Installer, Installation Supervisor, and Operations Supervisor, often working on assignments across BC and parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
He later moved into management, finally retiring in 1989 as Procurement Manager for Telecommunication Services International, another division of BC Tel, with which he travelled to the Dominican Republic.
Throughout his life, Colin enjoyed the outdoors. In his early years, he cycled with his father around the Sussex countryside, later picking up hiking and hunting in the BC mountains, and then becoming an avid sailor around the Gulf Islands and sometimes in the Caribbean.
Forever fond of birds and waterfowl, Colin would regularly regale his family and friends (willingly or otherwise) with details of the local waterfowl, songbirds, and birds of prey. His children, of whom he was always proud and supportive, also became keen birders (intentionally or not), though none were ever quite as good as Dad.
In his retirement, Colin cherished the opportunity to share with his many grandchildren his knowledge and appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors, particularly enjoying taking them to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island in Delta.
Before and after retiring, Colin also greatly enjoyed travelling, often with family, sometimes driving across large parts of North America but also flying to other parts of the world. He especially enjoyed visiting his childhood home of Birdham several times from the 1970s to 2000s.
Retirement also gave Colin time to take up carpentry and home renovations and to contribute greatly to the local community, especially through the Kiwanis Club of Tsawwassen where he was an active member for many years.
Colin greatly valued his family and many friendships made throughout his life, and he did his best to keep in touch with them all. But his story would not be complete without mentioning his love for dogs, several of which were long-time companions.
Colin spent his final years at the Pacific Carlton Seniors Community in White Rock, where he made more new friends. His family are especially appreciative of the staff and community at the Pacific Carlton for all their care and attention of Colin during this period.
A celebration of life and reception will take place at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre at 14831 28th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4P 1P3 at 1:30 pm on Friday, August 18, 2023.
For anyone wishing to commemorate Colin, his family would appreciate donations being made to the BC Waterfowl Society (www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com / T: 604 946 6980).
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/11394888.