James Papa

Submitted By: James Byrne

James Papa (also known by his Italian name of Giacomo) was born on 3rd August 1967. James died on 19th April 1996. He was only 28 years old.

In those 28 years he did more than many get to to do in a lifetime three times as long. And, perhaps more importantly, he also had a profound impact on the lives of those he came into contact with. A great many people continue to remember James with great love and affection. James is certainly not forgotten.

However until now there has been no way to share our memories with each other and to provide at least a virtual memorial to someone so dearly loved. Since James died it has always been my intention to share my photographs, music, videos and other memories with those that will appreciate them. In recent years the move to digital media and the growth of the internet has made it easier than ever to do this. Consequently I decided to stop talking about doing it and to actually make a start.

The site is new and is still under construction and, bit by bit, I intend to increase the amount of material available. This is where you can help! If you have any old photographs, video footage or recordings of James then please can I ask you to scan or digitise them and pass them on to me for inclusion on the site. If you would struggle to do the conversion then perhaps you could send me the original material and I will do it and return the originals to you. It is my aim to provide a broad range of material celebrating the life of James Papa and to do that I need your help. I also really hope that you will leave comments and perhaps your own memorable anecdotes as well.

These days, with digital cameras it is easy to be trigger happy and to literally take hundreds of photographs or hours of video. But back then, when a roll of film contained a maximum of 36 photos (and many would turn out blurred or bad) and a video camera was very large and very expensive, we just didn’t create as much material. The result is that I wish I had more than I do and that we had taken more pictures and video but I guess I am always going to want more.

The other thing worth pointing out is that I have a lot more pictures from the past but these are pictures that do not include James (or in a few cases pictures that I know he didn’t like). The point of this website is to celebrate James’ life so the focus is entirely on him. Of course there are numerous pictures of James with other people, and that’s great, but I have opted not to publish pictures of me or anyone else if James is not also in them.

While I know only too well that remembering James can of course make us upset and sad I think that it is better to remember him, and in particular to remember the love, energy, vigour, joy and exuberance he brought into our lives. I am sure that if you approach this website with that in mind that the material here will bring much more joy than pain. I certainly hope so.

James Byrne

25th May 2010