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How was Colony 47 involved in your life? Jim Colville was minister of our church in the early 70’s and spoke of Colony47. It was a place where everyone was welcome to come for help, support or just to socialise. My group of friends would meet up there, have a coffee, play games and generally help out where needed. It was obvious that this special place could make a real difference in people’s lives.

What years were you involved with Colony 47? I started going to “Jims” as we called it, in early 1974 when I was sixteen. It was a welcoming space where you could feel safe and listened to and I continued to go there for almost 2 years.

Your favourite thing about Colony 47? There was a need for a place like this and Jim Coville was such an amazing role model for us youngsters. He worked tirelessly, with grace and compassion, to help anyone in need, and I have great respect for him. I found it very rewarding, even at that young age, to interact with others and have them join in with whatever my friends and I were doing. To have a safe meeting place where you could relax and enjoy the company of others had a very positive impact on me.

Any memory/story you’d like to share from your time with Colony 47? I remember clearly the Official Opening where my friends and I spent most of the day there helping with the preparations. There was a vibe of excitement and sense of achievement and I’m sure being there instilled in me how incredibly rewarding it is to help others.

Any advice you’d like to give present and future staff of Colony 47? I think to this day Colony47 has been invaluable for many, many people who were troubled or going down the wrong track, and I hope it continues to do so for another 50 years!!

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