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Vale James Waites


Photo by Brett Monaghan

James Waites, known to me as Jim, left us on the 12th February, 2014. He swam out to sea at Coogee Beach. Jim had been struggling with ill health for some years.

Jim was an Arts Journalist, famous, to me, for his Theatre criticism. We had met way back in the early 1980’s when I asked him, on behalf of John Clark and Elizabeth Butcher, to teach a class for young writers at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), using Ibsen’s HEDDA GABLER as a model. He did. We then crossed paths in many different worlds, fleetingly, but always connected, some how.

Jim came back into my life, more apparently, when I began to write this blog. We would meet in theatre foyers and chat. He would write to me and I to him, exchanging emails. He encouraged me, mentored me, agreed and disagreed with me. He ‘egged’ me on, and I, as if it was necessary, ‘egged’ him. He was the power-house of courage that has inspired me to, and, in this process.

On Sunday, the 9th of March at the wharf at STC a Memorial event was made. Andrew Upton welcomed us. Christa Hughes and Paul Capsis sang. Some friends, spoke briefly. On James Waites web-page, the speech given by Trish Waites, Jim’s sister, can be read. I recommend that you, too, read it.

I want to thank all who looked after Jim. I want to, especially, thank, Augusta Supple.

James was a special guy. He will be missed. I hope to find his courage to inform my future choices.

With love,

Kevin J.