The death of Bishop Don Taylor closes yet another chapter in the glorious and unfolding journey of the Jamaican diaspora in America.
Egbert Don Taylor was truly a man for the times, settling with consummate ease among those he served so well, yet equally composed with those in the higher echelon of society. Not only did he excel in service to his land of birth, doing so as Jamaica's Honorary Consul in Atlanta, but later as the Vicar Bishop of New York and ministering to the large and ever-expanding communities of Jamaicans and other Caribbean people in the greater New York metropolitan area.
I remember well the love and concern he so wonderfully shared when I assumed the post as Jamaica's Consul General in New York. Bishop was always ready with advice and support to advance Jamaica's cause, and oftentimes helped me to navigate our diverse community. He was instrumental in putting together the welcoming service for me, and played a pivotal role in arranging the farewell service when I demitted office several years later.
Bishop moved with his usual grace in leading the prestigious St. John's the Divine Cathedral in Manhattan and shepherding the revival of St. Martha's Church in the Bronx back to life. He believed that there was a place for the proper touch of pomp and ceremony in the execution of his duties. Although he professed his faith through the Anglican Church, yet he was very much at ease in the company of the several other denominations that characterize the wide Jamaican and Caribbean communities.
In private life he could readily engage in the laughter and chat of his friends. It was at times as these that he was proud to speak of his "purple" blood, unafraid to let all and sundry know that he was truly a "Fortis" man, in recognition of his undying love for Kingston College, an institution he attended as a student and, later on, served with pride as teacher and Principal.
So farewell our dear Bishop Don T. As the Apostle Paul said to his young friend Timothy, so could you now proclaim: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
Farewell Bishop. Thanks for the pleasant memories.
Fortis! The word is love.
Dr. Basil K. Bryan is a Former Consul General of Jamaica in New York