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Patrick Collins     

Canadian mineral dealer Patrick "Paddy" Collins was born in England and still spoke with a bit of an English accent. He made a career as a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces, and upon retirement became a part-time mineral dealer under the name Upper Canada Minerals.

Paddy was a very discriminating, focused collector; only interested in fine, undamaged miniatures of Canadian minerals with no repairs, no matter how well they were done.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s Paddy made several trips to Rapid Creek-Big fish River area with Jerry Van Velthuizen to collect the phosphate minerals. He put together a complete suite of minerals found there that was eventually acquired by the Seaman Mineral Museum. It contained some of the best goyazite, souzalite-gormanite, whiteite, vivianite, ludlamite, augelite and kulanite that had ever been found there.

He also did a lot of collecting at the Francon quarry in Montreal (he found some good weloganites, dresserite and dawsonites), as well as Mont Saint-Hilaire. Probably the best material he ever collected there was the bladed pink serandite from the big pocket originally opened by Ernie Schlichter on one of the "open" weekends when collectors were allowed in. When everyone was ordered out at the end of the day, Paddy left with everyone else, who headed home. But Paddy waited for the cover of darkness and re-entered the quarry that night with Jerry VanVelthuizen, and finished salvaging what was left. They collected some really nice bladed pink serandites with aegirine, rhodochrosite and natrolite, as well as some of the best analcimes ever found. One of these, an analcime crystal the size of a grapefruit, was attached to the ceiling of the pipe about 6 feet overhead. The pipe was narrow, and Jerry (who was firmly planted inside it) was finally able to loosen it with a long stick, but he was unable to get out of the way as it came rolling down the pipe and smack him in the forehead, giving him a nice "goose-egg" that lasted for over a week.

Other favorite collecting areas Paddy frequented were the Bancroft area (Silver Crater mine betafite), the Payne property (octahedral uraninite) and the apatite-mica mines in the Gatineau area of Quebec and the Perth area of Ontario.

ROBINSON, G. (2014) Personal communication.
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