Colin Williams passed away last week

It was with great sadness that I received the news that Colin Williams passed away last week due to heart failure. He was the great-great grandson of George Williams – the founding father of the YMCA. As our colleagues from YMCA England informed us, this was unexpected but that he died peacefully.


I had the honor to meet with Colin a few months ago in London, during the meeting of the International Coalition of YMCA Universities. He received us at the entrance of the Westminster Abbey and took our group through the backdoor, and free of charge, to show every single spots there dedicated or connected to the YMCA. It was difficult for him to walk… yet he was determined, yet he did handle it with humor and enthusiasm! He was so proud of the YMCA, keeping the legacy of George Williams thriving.

When coming out of the abbey he lent on my arm to help down the stairs. We had a charming talk about famous grand-grandfathers… Then he slowly walked to his house, just next to the Westminster Abbey. My eyes could not stop following him until he was behind the door. My thoughts didn’t want to let him go…

May he rest in Peace!

By Vardan Hambardzumyan

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