The Life Of Brian: A Dearly Loved Friend

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I’ve known BJ for some 25 years, and it’s with great sorrow but also immense pride that I acknowledge him with this short, dreadfully inadequate account.

I’m prone to nostalgia. There is a real golden time in my mind, and in my heart.

It’s roughly the late 80s, early 90s, the place in my dad’s old office, and I often think about the people I came to know and love there. In particular Geri, Faith, Lauren and, of course, the often denim clad, tight-jeaned, longhaired, clean-shaven Brian.

I remember BJ in those years: hunched over his desk writing speeches, quite often looking stern and serious, though almost always laughing and smiling.

The place was chaos, but he always made time. I came to rely heavily on BJ to fill in the many blanks in my childhood memories; he was my strongest link to that time.

My prevailing memory of BJ, both then and up until recently, was jut how cool he was.

I’ve already mentioned the tight jeans but I was convinced, as a kid, that he was one of the BeeGees.

He had a wonderful ease and elegance about him, and this gentle, smooth voice that could often belie his cutting intellect and fiery passion.

He was an exceptional journalist and writer, though in his heart I suspect BJ was all rock ‘n roll.

He was fiercely loyal. Our family took a desperate turn and we really needed him. Within hours of a phone call he was on a plane.

He stood up for us. He protected us. I have neither the words nor the talent to express how much this meant to us.

Anything worth saying is best said simply.

BJ was my friend and I loved him dearly.

On behalf of the Collins family – all our love to Geri, Faith, Lauren, Robbie, Shaun and Clyde.

New Matilda

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.

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