The Notable - John Collighan – (1949 - 1955)

The Association has received memorabilia from John Collighan, relating to himself and others at School, which includes a number of photographs of rugby teams in which he played during his time at the Liverpool Collegiate. He requested that this memorabilia be deposited with the Liverpool Record Office and this has now been done. Copies of some of the photographs and other items are now included below and will appear in the next issue of the Newsletter.

John has provided some background on himself, which is given below

Educated at Anfield Road County Primary School and then, after passing the 11+, at the Liverpool Collegiate, leaving there in 1955.

After a variety of jobs in Liverpool, John hitchhiked to Spain in 1963, where he settled down and lived until the present time.

He learned Spanish very quickly and finally settled as a freelance in translator/interpreter profession. Amongst his work he was appointed to interpret on board the Royal Yacht Britannia during The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh`s visit to Spain in 1982. He was chief interpreter, forming a team of interpreters for the BBC`s coverage of the World Football Cup in Spain in 1982, interpreter for the first ever meeting between the blind composer, Joaquin Rodrigo and James Galway (for the BBC), translator for the first ever meeting of OPEC Heads of State and Government of Algeria, translator at the Group of 77 meeting in Jakarta, etc., etc., having travelled all over Europe and many parts of the USA as interpreter for different Organisations and Companies.

The following pictures, are only a selection of the set that Jack sent in - There was such a variety that it triggered off thoughts that we might start some new sections of the site on some fresh topics - For example, we have in mind setting up a new section on the subject of "Rugby", for which we are inviting members to send in items including stories and pictures.

It would be worth studying Jack's pictures to remind you of items that you might be able to offer.

BTW - Can anyone decipher your name (or any of the othe others) scribbled onto the playlist of productions of the School Play?

Jack's Pictures


England's world cup winning heroes of 1966 Bobby Charlton and his brother Jack were back in action during a world cup series once again this week, thanks to the efforts of a Liverpool interpreter.

Jack Collighan, who's '45, and who's lived in Spain for 19 years, is an old boy of Liverpool Collegiate School, where he used to play rugby.

He hitch-hiked to Madrid originally, back in 1963 and when his money ran out, he taught English. Although he'd studied French earlier, he liked Spain and the Spanish language and as time went by he settled.

Jack, who's a keen Liverpool supporter himself, was delighted when the world cup was allotted to Spain and at the moment, he's working as interpre¬ter for BBC-TV, easing the way to make coverage as efficient as possible

A great enthusiast for life and a man with a keen sense of humour (like all Merseysiders) Jack Collighan still regards himself as a real "Scouser”.

"I even imparted some of the accent in my early days when I started teaching here." he remembered. "I was getting elegant young Spanish ladies and snooty aristocratic senors saying ‘yar go der’ and '.alright like ' .as part of the course. They didn't realise they were getting a little bit extra for their money an added dimension to the English Language

THE HISTORIC royal visit to Spain went off frightfully well for the Queen, King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia. Even Prince Philip (who did not put so much as a toe in it) but, alas. not for Jack Collighan of Liverpool.

Jack. 45, is regarded as the leading simultaneous interpreter based in Madrid and his services were called on for the Queen's visit. He was seconded to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

He was taking a shower in his cabin on the escort frigate HMS Achilles when he was commanded to immediately fetch an urgent package.

With time only to throw on trousers, an old jumper and shoes (no socks) he was bundled into a police car which raced across Barcelona scattering Catalans in all directions.

The mysterious parcel collected, Jack Collighan found himself heading back towards Britannia just at the time the Queen was expected. His shouted request to stop at HMS Achilles was drowned out by the police car siren.

That is the reason why a sockless dishevelled and embarrassed interpreter was seen being saluted by 300 sailors, honoured by the band of the Royal Marines and piped aboard.

As for the parcel, "I don't know what was in it," said Jack. "I think it was my pride."