- A resident
of Dunbar, Scotland, John Muir's birthplace, Will Collin is a retired
principal of Dunbar Grammar School and former high school teacher
of physics, science and mathematics.
- Will moved
to Dunbar in 1977, the year after the creation of the 733 hectare
John Muir Country Park on the edge of the town. Three years later,
a small museum opened in John
Muir’s birthplace on Dunbar’s
High Street. These were Will's first encounters with the name of
John Muir. Then, as The
John Muir Library was published,
a copy of each book was placed in Dunbar Grammar School library,
courtesy of the Sierra Club, and Will frequently used passages
at school assemblies. In 1995, Will visited California for the
first time and learned first hand how important the Dunbar-born
Muir really was.
- Will graduated with an honours B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematic from
the University of Edinburgh and a teaching diploma from Moray House
College of Education. As a teacher, he quickly learned that education
is a lifelong process.
- Will says that John Muir taught him that anything may be possible,
with dedication, vision and application. "John Muir is a role
model for people of all ages, particularly demonstrating that increasing
age is not a barrier, but presents another series of opportunities."
- He has presented
the story of John Muir to schools, clubs and other organisations in
southern Scotland and northeast England. He made a presentation,
"The Influence of the Writings of Robert Burns on John Muir" at
the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, at its 2006
John Muir in Global Perspective Conference.
- Also in 2006,
he and fellow Rotarians presented all young people attending school
in Dunbar and the surrounding area with a John
Muir ‘California quarter’ to illustrate how wide
their horizons could be.
- He led a small
team which, in 2007, produced the first book of quotations from the
writings of John Muir to be published in the UK: Still Walking
- Will says that among the many facets of John Muir’s writing
what he most appreciates is his vision, the poetry of his prose, his
humour, and the expressions of love for his God, nature and family.
Will especially enjoys finding references to Muir’s ‘Scottishness’ and
shares with Dunbar’s
most famous son a love of the works of Scotland’s bard Robert
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