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Sat, 01.07.1893

Frank Collymore, Writer born

Frank Collymore

*Frank Collymore was born on this date in 1893. He was an Afro Barbadian teacher, author, poet, stage actor, and painter whose nickname was "Barbadian Man of the Arts."

Frank Appleton Collymore was born at Woodville Cottage, Chelsea Road, Barbados (where he lived all his life). Collymore was close to his parents; he was a single child for whom reading was a passion.

Public service was passed on from his father, who worked in the island’s customs office. Much of his life was spent in Combermere School, which he entered as a student in 1903, where he was appointed teacher in 1910, and where he remained until he retired as deputy headmaster in 1958. Even then, he continued to teach at the school till 1963.

The corner of Barbados where he lived embodies a sense of stability and timelessness. He grew up and spent most of his life at “Woodville,” a modest house set back off Chelsea Road on the edge of Bridgetown.  A giant frangipani tree overshadows the family home. Collymore was a renowned letter-writer, and on the stage, he became a member of the "Bridgetown Players," which began in 1942.

As an artist, he made many drawings and paintings to illustrate his writings. He called them "Collybeasts" or "Collycreatures." In 1942, he began the famous Caribbean literary magazine BIM (published four times a year), for which he is most well known, and was also an editor until 1975. He died on July 17, 1980.

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