His Instructions

Memorial Brochure

Articles His Poems Photos 1

james julius catalyn, o.b.e.

January 6, 1940 to August 18, 2018

Playwright, Poet, Actor, Founder of James Catalyn and Friends


Memorial Service

Thursday, August 23, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.

Christ Church Cathedral


Dean Patrick Adderley, Father Colin Humes


Raymond Antonio

Instructions from james julius catalyn

There will be no reception/repast/party before or after the memorial.

There will be no photo or video taking during the memorial, except for

persons from newspapers or television.

More at the end of this page.





Poem by james julius catalyn

(Reflecting on his wishes)


He was born.

He knew who he was, where he came from, and where he was going.


He lived.


He made his contribution.

He said what he meant and meant what he said and was clearly understood.

He did the things in life that pleasured him.

He enjoyed life to the fullest.

He was at peace with himself and with his fellowman.

His one concern was that we love one another, even as Christ loved us.


He died.


He had no regrets.

He chose his favourite passages of scripture and some of his favourite hymns.

He did not wish an Obituary; neither did he wish an “As I Knew Him", nor "Tributes", nor "Precious Memories" at the back of the funeral booklet, nor a "Gathering" after the service.

You each knew him differently; you will each remember him differently.

In your hearts, remember him as you knew him.



Poet, actor, founder of James Catalyn and Friends


And List of Those Who Sent Condolences

Tributes from Friends Tributes from Family Tributes from Leaders Persons Who Sent Condolences

Send your tributes/condolences to

James Catalyn wishes were these:  At the memorial service there will be no choir singing,

no sermon, no tributes or condolences.  Hence, this page is the only avenue where your tributes or

condolences will be placed and cherished by the family.

Sunday, August 26, 2018 08:51 AM


Family Members

  1. JUDITH EDWARDS, Carolina:  Uncle James was the best uncle ever. He took time out of his busy schedule to attend my wedding in Jamaica. He will be dearly missed by me and my three sons, Donovan, Jonathan and Adam Edwards. The perfect example of unconditional love.

  2. DEREK CATALANO:  "The greatest uncle in the world."

  3. MARGUERITE SAMUEL:  I will forever remember uncle James as the one who brought our family together at Christmas time. I have many fond memories of our time together with him. And who can throw down like Uncle James in the kitchen?! He was also our "Santa Clause" as children, something I'll never forget. Uncle James, you will be sorely missed.

  4. KIMBERLY DUNCOMBE: We loved, we laughed and we cried together. Uncle James, this is so hard on me! I haven't slept or eaten since Friday. I keep replaying everything you said to me Saturday morning as I dressed you. I refused to accept that was the final time I would hear you tell me that you loved me and me saying I love you! The final time I would hear you say how proud you were of me and the instructions you were giving me about the show. I know you are in a better place but my heart doesn't know how to let you rest! You left and I can still hear your voice and your laughter and it breaks my heart that I will never get to kiss you on your forehead again or hear you call me Kimmie or lovie. You said "Don't be afraid, it's ok, you're ok", I didn't want to hear that. I love you Uncle James, I truly miss you!! It is selfish of me not to let go and I am trying so hard. Sleep well Uncle J . Sleep well!

  5. GERARD BRENNEN:  Uncle James, you taught me to have pride in my heritage. You taught me the passion of art and most importantly, humor. I'll miss you.

  6. BLAYRE CATALYN: "Keep a smile on your face anda song in your heart" is what you'd always say to me and that will stick with me always!  Love you so much!  I'll always  your "miss ting."

  7. TINA ALGREEN-MOREE: I had the privilege to call you uncle and loved the years that I had you. You mad an impact on everyone you met and was loved beyond limits. It was sad to hear the you went to sleep, I wished I was able to spend a day with you, but I will forever remember the sweet memories that we shared. Sleep in perfect peace

  8. BARRINGTON BRENNEN: They say I look like my uncle.  Uncle James was special in the Catalyn/Brennen families.  The little children cannot forget the years of gift-giving during Christmas time.  Every small child in the family got a gift from Uncle James.  He began Christmas shopping in August and sometimes right after Christmas.  He began making his Christmas fruit cakes and other cakes in October or so.   He was a good cook.  The family spent Christmas with Uncle James for the past 60 plus years.  He provided all the meals (except for the vegetarians) until five years ago when he said it is time for the young people to take over.  So we started having the Christmas family potluck.

  9. KEITH ANSON ALBURY: I will miss you dear uncle. But the memory of you will make me #laughagain #laughingatweself

  10. VERNESSA RAHMING: My Uncle lived a wonderful life building our nation through culture, laughter and his wonderful poems. Uncle, you are at peace

ZNS News Video




  1. CAMILLE L. SMITH:  James Catalyn was a giant of a Bahamian icon. He gave our country a consistent, bountiful, multifaceted assortment of contributions. RIP James Catalyn. Wow, another loss of a very seasoned citizen. He will be missed indeed. My condolences to his family and all who loved him.

  2. GRACE, AGATHA, BEVERLY AND ERNESTINE SHERMAN, YVONNE BULLARD, AUDREY AND GARLAND DEAN:   On Saturday The Bahamas lost a National Hero, "A TRUE TRUE BAHAMIAN"  The Sherman family lost a brother, I don't know when it happened, but James was no longer a friend he became Netta's son and our brother.   We will miss the laughter, the calls, the cakes and cookies.   We will never forget you James.    Say, "Hello" to Netta.   May God enfold you in His arms forever.

  3. K. E. COLLIE:  I met Mr. Catalyn several times in my capacity as an English teacher. I was always impressed by his willingness to express his particular views about Bahamian culture in general and about Bahamian language in particular. His personal pride in our spoken language and unwillingness to give it second place behind the “Queen’s English” or “Standard English” had a particularly powerful impact on me as a teacher and as a Bahamian citizen. As an educator, I therefore encourage my students to respect our language and to use it appropriately and equally with Standard English.     I also had occasion over the years to enjoy several performances by James Catalyn and Friends. I particularly remember that ZNS broadcasted “Laughing at Weself” during the 1980s. Mr. Catalyn did not, as far as I know, receive remuneration from those broadcasts, but his willingness to share in that way enriched the lives of thousands of young Bahamians like me whose experience of the theatre was at that time limited to church programs and the occasional school play. He brought Bahamian life and culture to the stage in ways that not only made us laugh, but also stimulated self-evaluation. Later, Mr. Catalyn became a valued part of my adult experience as a theatre goer, and his productions continued to enrich my life over the ensuing years.   Mr. Catalyn will be missed.

  4. GETA WILLIAMS:  Thank you for helping us to accept ourselves and be proud of who we are, with all our faults and shortcomings and indeed with all our amazing traits, talents and abilities. You made me proud to be Bahamian!! Rest in peace my brother!  A humble public school teacher.

  5. LAWSON MAPP, Bermuda:  I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of my good friend James, I met him on my very first trip to your lovely Islands during the seventies in fact I resided with him last year during my brief holiday in Nassau.  James made a great contribution to the country of his birth in Theater, Tourism and  in fact for his efforts was recognized by Her Majesty the Queen with an OBE. On behalf of my fellow Bermudians and myself I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Lawson E Mapp, Mayor of Hamilton, Bermuda 2000-2006

  6. HENRY LEE GIVENS, Florida: I was very sorry to hear of James's death. We will miss him very much. James was a kind person you could depend on for a smile, for a humorous "lighten up, guys" when we needed it most, for doing more than his share, and more.

  7. MARVA RUSSELL MINNIS:  Condolences to the family and friends of the late Mr. James Catalyn.  I appreciated Mr. Catalyn for his stance in theatre etiquette.  May his work continue.

  8. DR. KIRK LOPEZ:  Thank you for leaving the Bahamas a much more culturally enriched community than you met it and for showing us how it should be done in that regard. Sleep in peace

  9. KAY FRANCIS-KERR: To know James was to LOVE 💙 him.... he will most definitely be missed! Rest on James, take your well-deserved rest. Rise to Glory Mr.Catalyn .... you lived YOUR life!!

  10. CHRISSY LOVE: Giving thanks for the life of the “julcat” ...The great James Julius Catalyn!  We remember your immense contribution to all things Bahamian and I’m glad to be part of the adopted family who laughed loudest at Lampost #8 or on the comfortable Peardale Patio. Deepest condolences to the Catalyn, Catalano and Major families... Rest In Power Sir! We still “laffin at we sef”...

  11. PROFESSOR GILBERT MORRIS:  I knew and did not know James Catalyn: I was introduced to his literary works as a school boy, though I met him only once in person.  His precision and refinement was so admirable, that I wondered to myself what sort of country we would become if we followed his example.  James Catalyn leaves a sense of pride and a clear path for excellence; a path which he lived and we only need follow.
    He was the master of things Bahamian, marvellous and meaningful...

  12. CORDELL THOMPSON:  This is a rough week on me. Two luminaries I lived and respected well have made their transition within two days of each other.   I met Aretha Franklin when I was an editor with Jet Magazine and we became treasured friends.    I knew Jim all my life but we became close friends when we Sir Lynden Pindling invited a group of young Bahamians to Bahamianize the Ministry of Tourism. We did. One day we saw the Miniatry's advertising agency producing a commercial in Rawson Square.  We were looking out the window and I said: " Jim, ain't no Black people in the commercial", whereupon, he Louis Bowe, Jeanette Thompson and I went to the agency head and told him that wasn't happening that day. They went to Sir Lynden on us and when he heard the report, told them to find some Black people.   That was Jim. Forceful in a polite way and deeply committed to all things Bahamian. Jim was the first to put the Bahamian dialect in drama and poetry. He made it acceptable and appreciated.   Later Jim headed the Bahamas Tourist  in Chicago, by which time I was an Editor at Johnsons Publishig. We had bean and rice once a week and he joined me at many VIP functions at Johnsons. He attended the opening of Johnsons new multi-million dollar building.    If visitors to #20 Bar Twenty Corner notice that nice lawn, I liberated that grass from the Rock Sound Club in 1968.   I almost forgot, James was best man at my first wedding.   Rest in peace Jim. You made a difference in how we saw ourselves.

  13. BAHAMIAN BANGTAN QUEEN KIANA: James, I may have joined late but you still welcomed me into your family. You gave me a chance and taught me new things. You even showed me that in old age it is ok to "laugh at we self" I will never forget your laugh. Humans might not live forever but our work that we leave behind does. I will tell you know, Mr james Catalyn your work will continue on for as long as humans inhabit the earth. May you rest in eternal peace. No more suffering or pain for you. You are loved.  Thank you for adopting me into your certified crazy people and your family.

  14. JARONA BABB,  New York: Thanks. We must meet. The link is so long, strong and loving. Though you may not know me I know you well. This morning I cry in remembering the Catlyns. Your grandmother, your mother Mary.  Uncles, Abel and Peter.
    My sister Cypri, made a brief 24 hr visit from NC. We had not seen each other for 3 years. James expired while we were together. He made this reunion so very special. Vibes were steering me to my mobile, but I returned it to my purse each time. KARMA ?
    We talked about Sammy Sands.   Oh! the closeness of us Out East Original PONDITES. These departures sound a sweet neighbor hood rhythm to James and each of us. I will share this with my sister when she is safely off the road. This will be painful to her. Requiescat in Pace James, & May the PEACE of the LORD be to you Barry and your household.  Lovingly,  Jerona Smith Babb.

  15. TOD BENEBY:  It is with a sense of profound sadness that I pay homage to one of The Bahamas’ greatest creative genius.   His ability to create an avenue to bring the creative juices of the average Joe and Jane to make people laugh is completely ingenious.  “Speak Bahamian and only use English when necessary” will continue to be his legacy.  A friend to all and a lover of tings Bahamian, a giant of a man.

  16. DESMOND EDWARDS:  My deepest condolences. James Catalan will be sorely missed. His literary and dramatic works will forever be a part of Bahamian cultural patrimony. May he Rest In Peace.

  17. SHONARAY MACKEY:  This is a shocker to me. The tears just keep coming. I will not be long with this post by your request. No long talk, singing or tribute.
    But this is a must
    Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to utilize one of my gifts in performance. You entrusted me with your baby ( the box office). I am was honored and privilege to have worked closely with you. The short time we shared and laughed. The wisdom and knowledge you shared with me are all embedded in my heart. Thank you so much Sir.
    I am forever grateful.

    The time we spent together will be cherish memories.

    My condolences to your son Radon, the immediate and my JCF family. May God give us peace and comfort during this painful time.

    You did it your way.
    Take your rest "Sir James J. Catalyn Esq."

  18. JAN McCANTS MILLER:  I am in shock and tears...James Catalyn, now upon reflection, I recall all your posts during these last 2 weeks, were you saying goodbye to us? You were among the first I met when I arrived in Nassau in 1985. I met you through my late husband, Roston Miller during your rehearsal with the Rotary Club of West Nassau for their annual Night of Christmas Music Show. You were funny, friendly, and above all else, you welcomed me to Nassau with open arms in your best Bahamian dialect. We have stayed in touch through FB since my return home to Delaware. I am not prepared for your sudden departure because all I was looking forward to was getting together with you during my next visit to Nassau. James you are missed already. I’m going to miss your FB posts, I’m going to miss your witty sense of humor, I’m gonna miss your telling it like it is, I’m gonna miss You. Rest in Paradise my Friend and thank you for taking the time to chide us into loving ourselves and others more. You are missed. Nassau has lost another great icon.

  19. VYLMA B. THOMPSON-CURLING: Your life James was a true representation of a dedicated, committed Bahamian who loved this country above every thing else. Your charm, your wit, your endurance and your interaction with persons from whatever sphere in life will be missed.

  20. LESLIE ELLIS-TYNES: What an honor it has been to have met, known and been in the presence of such great Bahamian genius. My passion for performing arts became even stronger for having a mentor, teacher and friend such as James J. Catalyn. I've learned countless skills from James, among them the importance of organization, punctuality and the preservation of the Bahamian spirit. Thank you for allowing this eager thespian an opportunity to grace the stage for some of her first favorite performances and a place in your company James, 'JCF' - the longest running Bahamian Theatre troupe. I will treasure every example that James has been to me and the entire 'JCF' family, for the rest of my life. May he Rest In Peace.

  21. GENEEN EVANS: "Lay down dear bother lay down and take your rest. Lay your head upon the savior's breast. I love you but Jesus loves you best. I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight"! James Julius Catalyn I will see you on the other side. Until then we will continue to "laugh at we'sef.

  22. OMAR WILLIAMS: James' work brought together a lot of people and created a family around him that extended several generations.  I appreciated the hard work he put into every production, his skillful planning and the attention to detail.  My deepest sympathy to all the many people who call James J. Catalyn family.

  23. HOPE SHELLY-ANN:  James Catalyn, you adopted me late in my life and I am all the richer for having been touched by you !!! Your backyard will always be one of my my favorite places !!!!!

  24. PASTOR LEONARD RAHMING:  Death is ugly and painful and often it breaks our hearts in two. I truly look forward to the time when this pain occurrence will be no more. On behalf of my family and I please accept sincerest condolences as you grieve the passing of this cultural icon. Special prayers ascend for the Catalyn family, Pastor Barrington Brennen, Judith, Claudia,Ann Albury and their families. Blessings!




Tributes from Leaders




Bahamian cultural, legend, icon and warrior James Julius Catalyn passed away on Saturday August 18, 2018. He was 78 years old.

James Julius Catalyn was born on January 6th, 1940 in the Pond of East Shirley Street near to St. Matthews Parish to the late Theresa Elizabeth Major formerly of Roses Long Island. James received his education at the Sands School, the Worrell School and Eastern Senior School where he graduated in 1956. He began writing poetry and plays at the age of 16 years. His first major play was written in 1970, which he named ‘Courtship’. He also wrote the ‘Best Dressed Man’, which he performed with Noel Hamilton at the Cabaret Theater. This play left a lasting impact upon the Bahamian public.

In August of 1968 he traveled with the National Dance School and Mrs. Shirley Hall Bass where he got his first international performance in a play called L’il Abner in Chicago, Illinois. They performed at the Harper’s Court Theatre.

Mr. Catalyn was a playwright, actor, adjudicator, poet, producer, director and satirist among other things. He studied drama under the tutelage of the late Meta Davis Cumberbatch and the late B.E.A. Saunders. He also studied at the University of the West Indies Extra Mural Department, The Sammy Dyer School of Theatre and Stage One, both in Chicago Illinois.

Mr. Catalyn wrote political and social drama and poetry and used his writings to preserve the Bahamian dialect, which he termed ‘Bahamianese’. He founded James Catalyn and Friends in 1979 and was immediately invited by ZNS to perform on a ZNS TV 13 weekly series. Mr. Catalyn’s group traveled extensively both locally and internationally promoting Bahamian culture through his skits, plays and poetry.

Every year in June and September he performed two major productions at the Dundas Center for the Performing Arts. His September revue “Summer Madness” is well-established on the Bahamas’ Cultural Calendar.

James was employed at the Ministry of Tourism for 32 years until he retired in 2000. He is considered to be one of the pillars of the Tourism industry. He has served as coordinator of the International Cultural Festival, and the adjudicator for the drama segment of the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival for many years.

Mr. Catalyn has had his finger on the pulse of Bahamian culture for decades writing about the uniqueness of who we are. He received his OBE in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours.

On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and indeed the people of The Bahamas we offer our sincere condolences to his family, relatives, friends and many fans.

May his soul rest in peace.









Adrian Russell
Albertha Smith Gainza
Alice Innis and Family
Allardyce Smitha and Family
Allison Mortimer (MOT)
Amanda Courtson
Andrea P. Munnings and Family
Andrea Saunders and Family
Andrea Usher-Knowles
Angela Cleare
Angela L. Carroll
Angela Tynes and Family
Ann Albury
Anna Williamson
Anne Pratt-Moss
Anthony Jervis
Antoinette Bowe
Antoinette Davis
Antoinette Knowles
Antone Williamson
Antonia Christie
Apryl Moss
Arlene Hercules and Family
Ava Burke
Barbara Hanna Cox
Barrington and Annick Brennen
Basil and Cheryl Albury
Benjamin Pratt
Bermice Moxey Adderley
Bernadette Knowles-Saunders (MOT)
Beverley Adderley and Family
Beverley and Shelly Archer
Beverley Sherman
Beverley Taylor
Bishop Moss and Family
Bostwick Family
Brenda Plakaris
Brent Deveax
Brentwood Burrows
Bridgette Rahming (MOT)
C. Andrew Humes
C. J. Bostwick (Mr. & Mrs.)
Calin Bowe
Camille Doresett
Candia Ferguson
Canon S. Sabastian Campbell
Carla Braynen
Carla Lockhart
Carlito Catalano
Carole Watson
Cavlyne Smith-McKenzie
Cecile Askew
Celest Lockhart
Charity Armbrister (MOT/Pondite)
Charlame Forbes
Charles McCartney
Charles Russell
Cheryl Bullard-Stubbs
Chester Cooper
Chigozie Igeoma (JFC)
Chrissy Love
Claudia Seymour
Conrad Maycock and Family
Cynthia Bee
Cynthia Bowe
Cynthia Louise Rahming
Cynthia Rahming
Cyprianna and Sean McWweeney
Daisy Williams
David Rosemae Bain and Family
Davis Willis
Deangelo Catalano (Grand nephew)
Deloles Springfield
Delores Archer and Family
Denny and Debbie Wilson
Dereck and Tracy Catalano
Dereck Colbroke
Desiree Aranha
Dion Johnson
Dion Johnson
Dion Miller and Family
Donna Delva
Donna Deveaux
Donna Harding
Dr. Derryck Richardson
Dr. Harold Munnings
Dr. Herbert Orlander
Dr. Richardson
Dwain Wallace and Family
Dwayne Curtis
Dwight and Flora Sawyer
Earl Miller
Eddie Archer
Edith Roach
Edward Burrows
Edward Williams
Edwardo and Fredricka Jimeneza
Eldridge McPhee (Belcanto Singers)
Ellie Campbell
Emily Colebrook
Eric Adderley (JCF)
Eric Rose and Family
Erica and Marvin Laing
Erica Fox-Lightbourne and Family
Erica Ingraham
Erica Moree
Ernest Rumer
Ernestine Sherman-Adam


Eva Thurston Fox (JFC)
Evamae Ferguson

Evan Mark Sweeting
Evangeline Lightbourne
Evangeline Rolle
Family of the Outreach Center
Florence Rahming and Family
Francia (MOT)
Frank Carter
Frieda Hall
Garland and Audrey Dean
George and Bonwith Ferguson
George Heastie
Gerogina Delancy (MOT)
Gladston Adderley and Family
Gladstone Adderley
Glenda B. A. Roberts and Family
Gloria Longley-Rolle (JCF)
Gloria Mortimor
Godfrey Archer and Family
Grace Johnson Friend
Grace Sherman
Graham B. Thordarson
Gwen Bain
Gweneth Munnings
Hal McDonald
Helen Wong
Helena Dorsette
Henry Givens

Hon. Brave Davis

Hon. Fred Mitchell
Hope Curry
Hope Shelly-Ann
Ina Algreen-Moree
Inderia Green (JCF Family)
Ingrid Bartlett
Iris, Happy, Dario and Dilla Knowles and Family
Ivar Lightbourn
Jakes and Billie Godet
Jamie Catalyn
Janet and John Bostwich
Janet Kemp
Jerome LaFleur
Jerry and Family
Jim Whitehead
Joan Burrows
John Johnson and Family
Joycelyn Simms
Juanita Carey
Judith Theophilus
Judith Theophilus
Julia Burnside
Juliana Candace Bostwich
Julitte Holmes
K. S. Murry
Karen Catalyn
Karla F. Knowles
Karla Poenisch
Kay Evan
Kayla Green and Family
Keith and Katura Bryan and Family
Kerry Fountain
Kid James Tynes
Kyron Strachan
L. M. Bowe
L.M. Bowe II
La Gloria Davis
Lanentine Maura (JCF)
LaVerne Major
Lawrence McDonald
Lechante Anthony Wright (JCF)
Leonard Cumberbatch
Leslie and Paul Bowleg and Family
Leslie Ellis-Tynes
Lillian Bastian
Lisa Laing
Lloyd Wong (JCF)
Louis Dames
Louis Hanchell
Lowell J. Mortimer
Loxsley Bastian
Lynette Deveaux
Mae Davis
Malaria Henry
Marcia Sands (Samaritan’s Ministry)
Margaret Smith Brown and Family
Maria Johnson
Maria Johnson
Mariam Bowe and Family
Marina Trotman
Mark and Charity Francis
Marva Jervis
Mary Davis
Mary Mycklwhyte
Mavis Collie
Mavis Darville
Maxi Williamson
Melanie Farrington
Meneria Burrow and Family
Mitz and Robert Barnett
Naomi Simms
Natasha Davis
Neil Cleare (JCF)
Nicole Deveaux
Nicolette Bethel
Nina B. V. Roberts and Family
Norma B. Rolle
Norma Williams

Ochee Smith
Owen Bethel and Family
Owen T. Rolle and Family
P. Scot Adderley
Pamala Knowles and Family
Pamela Pratt (AIDS Foundation)
Pastor Danhugh Gordon
Pastor Joan Sweeting
Pastor Mark Ewen and Family
Pastor Wilfred and Sheila Adderley and Family
Pat Murry
Patrice Astwood McDonald
Patricia A Clarke
Patricia Burke
Patricia Whitfield
Patrick Hugh and Family
Paul Bartlett
Pauline Mortimer
Penny Nottage
Peter and Kate Bates
Philip Burrows
Philip Gray
Phyllis Albury Garraway
Piscilla Williams and Family
Portia Barnett
R. Andrew Barnett
Rachel and Leslie Rolle
Ralph McCarthy
Raymond Antonio
Reginald Rigby and Family
Renee Eldon
Rev and Mrs. Charles Lewis
Richard Adderley and Family
Robert and Eleanor Elliott
Robert Forbes
Roberton Deveaux
Robin Catalyn
Romaine Nixon
Ron and Isabella
Ron Overend (Mr. and Mrs.)
Rosemary Barrett
Rosemary Hanna
Rossie and Billy Godget
Rowena Rolle
Roy Adams
Ruth Francis
Ruth M. Williams (MOT)
RuthAnn Rolle
Ruthiemae Rolle and Family
Sally Ferguson
Sandra Dean-Smith
Sandra Knowles
Shanary Mackey
Sharon A. M. Cleare
Sharon Dean
Sheila McPhee
Sheila Taylor-Cox
Shelah Murray
Sherika Burrows (JCF)
Sherry Symonette-Collie
Shirley Braynen
Shirley McDonald Brennen
Shornelle Nesbitt (JFC) and Family
Sir Balton Bethel
Sister Cecilia Albury (OSB)
Sister Clara Rolle
Sister Marva Coakley and Sisters
Sister Mary Bernedit Pratt
Sonia Cox Hamilton
Sonia Dames
Sony Jean-Jacques
Stacey Algreen
Stephanie Rolle and Family (Bimini)
Stephen Albury
The Archer Family of Shirley Street
Theresa Higgs
Thomas A. D. Grant
Tiffany Eldon
Tina Albury
Tina Albury
Todd Beneby
Tony Thompson and Family
Tyrone Sawyer
V. Tron McPhee
Vaeria Lynes and Family
Valentine Knowles
Valicia Rolle
Vannessa Scott and Family
Vaughn Confliff
Verlene LaFleur
Veronica Hutchison
Veronica Toppin (JCF)
Virginia Kelly
Virginia Kelly
Wendy Coakley-Thompson
Wendy Munnings
Wendy Patricia Morley
Wes Thompson
William Dean
Yolando Bain and Family
Yvonne Sherman Bulla





Poet, actor, founder of James Catalyn and Friends

Selection of Poems by james julius catalyn




james j. catalyn © aug. 1985

Weep silently for me, no mournful wail
No unnecessary and useless screams
You loved me living, did you fail
To tell me

You shared my dreams

Speak not o'er me as here I lay
I cannot hear your false lament
I lived, t'was then you should've had your say
Not when my life is spent.

You cared not then, did not sing my praise
You tore me to the core
I care not now, I'm in God's grace
He loves me even more.

To thine own self, reflect within thine heart
Consider deeds both good and bad
Keep silent! Sit where you are shown
This is my day! I'm glad.

Expect no dignitaries bloc
No acknowledgements, they bore
My friends were all the same to me
Though some were rich, some poor.

Behind my funeral bier
Behind my family dear
Tread silently, not a whisper make
And take your exit without flair.

Weep not! Speak not! Make no demands
There's only one star today
No concert, circus, I made my plans
To have my funeral, my way!




by james j. catalyn


Today I discovered someone new

Someone who's loving, some one who's true

Someone who's charming, witty and wise


Dedicated, considerate, with a heart gallon size

Someone who's kind, soft spoken,

serene Clearly understood, uncomplicated and plain

Someone who's smiling,

who's chatty and calm Older and wiser, who tries not to alarm

Someone who's gentle, prayerful, devout

Someone who knows what life's all about

Someone who would like an example to be

Today, I discovered that some, Me!























Poet, actor, founder of James Catalyn and Friends

His Instructions


By Barrington H. Brennen

My uncle, James J. Catalyn, was special.  He was well organized, particular, detailed, meticulous.  More that thirty years ago he gave my mother (his sister, Mary Brennen) the more than twenty-page document for his memorial service.   He updated it three times since then.  When my mother died in 2015, he passed on the documents to two of his nieces, Ann Albury and Gini Catalano Pieri.  Twenty-five years ago he asked me to sing at his memorial the song, "I walked today where Jesus walked."  He reminded me of that just four weeks ago.

Uncle James left the program for his memorial already typed out to the minute details.  All we have to do is to edit by removing or adding names of deceased persons.   The instructions he left for the memorial, we are to follow without wavering.    He even assigned seats for everyone.   Towards the end of the document he made it very clear not to adjust it in any way.   Here are his own words: "Anyone wishing or requesting other than as I have stated in this document, is simply to be told, "James does not wish it."   

Here are samples of his wishes in his own words.

"He did not wish an Obituary; neither did he wish an “As I Knew Him", nor "Tributes", nor "Precious Memories" at the back of the funeral booklet, nor a "Gathering" after the service." Taken from his poem.

"ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY AND DEFINITELY no one is to make any remarks other than as laid out in the funeral booklet.  Absolutely nothing is to be added to or deleted from my funeral service and my family is not to accommodate any requests or demands made by anyone."

"Absolutely and definitely NO Junkanoo Rush out at my funeral, nor special Tee-shirts bearing my picture."

"Pleas do not say "Oh, he dead, he ain't ger know."  These are my wishes and this is how I feel about these things.  There is no need for my family to be embarrassed telling someone "No."

"In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to a central fund (to be made by the family) and divided between the Samaritan Ministry, and the AIDS Foundation."








REMARKABLE TRIBUTE BELOW: Oswald Brown: "Having known the late James Catalyn from my boyhood days,  I was immensely proud of his accomplishments as a “playwright, poet, actor and cultural icon.”  That’s how he was described by accomplished Bahamian artist Jamaal Rolle in his tribute  accompanying this remarkable portrait that he sketched of my good friend. My his soul rest in peace."


Image may contain: James J. Catalyn, smiling, drawing

james j. catalyn © 1960

Sleep comes at last
Sleep, rest, peace
From this world of toil and heartaches
Far away another day breaks
Where the weary find their rest
Forever on the Master's breast