Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Colin McMeekin, BSc (Econ), (Died 1 October 2019, aged 79)

Submitted by Colin’s friend and classmate, Denis Bell


After leaving Campbell College in 1958, Colin went on to study Economics at Queen’s. That is when I first met Colin. With both of us having an interest in motoring the University Motor Club proved a great attraction. The highlights were the Thursday night motor rallies held on winter evenings, starting and finishing outside the old Students' Union in University Square.


However, despite those early diversions into motor sport both of us managed to attain the BSc (Econ) degree, Colin graduating in 1962. He then joined Belfast accountancy firm Hill, Vellacott and Bailey. He continued to motor rally, often as a co-driver, but the lure of even more action attracted him into racing, when he acquired a Lotus 7 sports car. He raced successfully at several circuits, including Kirkistown, Bishopscourt and Phoenix Park.


At the same time, he also developed an interest in yachting and found himself crewing and racing in Dragon and Fairy Class boats at the Royal North of Ireland Club. The highlight was sailing the Fairy Class Arrow and winning the coveted Rose Bowl Trophy.


However, in 1969 the opportunity to join the giant British Leyland Motor Company as a Business Manager was too good to miss. This necessitated moving to England and a year later he married Joan and went on to have two children, James and Fiona. Promotion within the organisation followed leading the family to live in a number of different parts of Europe, before returning to Sussex in the late 1980s. In November 1989, in recognition of his long and varied contribution to the motor industry he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London.


While running the Jaguar dealerships in Sussex Colin decided to return to motor sport competing in Classic rallying. He invited me to join him as navigator, using initially a big Jaguar MK 7 to promote his business. We entered a number of Continental events including winter events down to Monte Carlo. We competed together mainly for fun, although we did manage an outright victory in the Classement General Touring of the Swiss Mountain Rally in 2003, by now in a Triumph TR3A sports car.


In very early childhood Colin survived a serious attack of polio and it was typical of his quiet determination, that he was able to take part in motorsport and yacht racing, both requiring stamina and agility. He never spoke of that early set back, but in later years both Campbell and Queen's would acknowledge how inspirational he had been in overcoming it.


Colin and Joan had always enjoyed living in Central Europe with its easy access by car to a number of neighbouring countries, so when he retired in 2000 they bought a house on the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany. However, as the years went by, like many who spent time abroad, the lure of coming home was still there and in 2010 Colin and Joan moved back to Killinchy.


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