It was on Christmas Eve in 1971 when the Rev. E. Don Taylor (now Bishop Taylor) conducted a wedding ceremony at KC’s St Augustine’s Chapel. The bride and groom were St. Hugh’s Past Student, Janet Evans and KC Old Boy Michael Walters, one of Rev. E. Don Taylor’s students. It was our privilege to meet with Bishop Taylor for the first time since the wedding some 39 years ago. We met with Bishop Taylor at the Kingston Parish Church (KPC) where he told us the history of the church and we shared stories of our lives.
Both Janet and I were expecting to see an older looking man. Bishop Taylor looks a lot younger than his 73 years considering that he works seven days a week. He still misses his dear wife very much and poignantly said this was the first year he would not be spending Christmas with his daughter. He is supported in his work by friends including KCOBs and his dear daughter.
Bishop Taylor asked Janet, as we walked to his office, if she has ever been in KPC, to which she proudly replied that she attended the KPC Youth Club, in the early 70s, whose members met in the church hall every Thursday. Janet has recently reconnected with several members of the group, Faith, Patsy, Al and Rocky, the latter at a Purple Session. Bishop Taylor continues the time-honored tradition of the church which says “all are welcome.”
He congratulated us on our 39 years of marriage, which he laughingly said couldn’t be that large a number as it seemed like only yesterday he performed the ceremony. He was happy that we were visiting him the day before we celebrated our anniversary, and he gave us a Blessing prior to our departure.
As I eavesdropped on a telephone conversation Bishop Taylor was having while we sat in his office, it brought back memories of the man we lovingly referred to, at KC, as Don T. I heard the same firmness in his voice, his sense of humor, his intelligence, his love for KC and the people of Jamaica especially those in the downtown area, his no-nonsense attitude, his kind demeanor and most of all, his pride in his country. At the young age of 73 and with numerous accomplishments behind him, Bishop Taylor has embarked on an adventure of massive proportions, to participate in the rebuilding of Kingston; he strongly and fervently believes it can be done. This may be his most significant undertaking yet.