Following the August 19 service at St. Barnabas, New Westminster, Rev. Steve Bailey remarked that “as of this morning five generations of Baileys have participated in Holy Communion in this place”.
A Bailey family reunion drew participants from as far away as Nova Scotia, Guelph ON, Drumheller AB and Whitehorse YK. Little did Walter and Emma Bailey know when they arrived in New Westminster from Newfoundland in 1905 that 106 years later representatives from their growing family would gather to celebrate their St. Barnabas heritage.
When Walter and Emma married at St. Barnabas in 1906, the parish was only 10 years old. “My grandparents built a home on Kennedy Street, a few blocks from the church”, said Steve. “My great grandparents on my mother’s side were already living across and slightly east of St. Barnabas on 5th Avenue. They had been there since 1882.”
Walter and Emma raised their five children in New Westminster, and Steve and his family moved to the family home on Kennedy Street after his grandfather died in 1954. The family has celebrated many baptisms and weddings since Walter and Emma joined the parish in 1905. Judy McInnes, Steve’s cousin, reminded everyone that her mother Isobel loved St. Barnabas and was married there in 1934. “She would have loved this service today as much as I did”. Steve’s dad, Fred, had fond memories of teaching sunday school at St. Barnabas in his teenage years.
Rev. John Firmston and the congregation of St. Barnabas provided a warm welcome. Firmston remarked during the service how valuable it is for each of us to return to the places associated with our family roots. “It’s a privilege to be with the Bailey family today as they remember their rich heritage, remarked Firmston.” Anglican priest Rev. Larry Keddie, husband of Steve’s cousin Susan read the lessons, and there was a moment of remembrance for cousins no longer with us including Betty-Jean Mairs, one time director of Camp Owaissi who was in progress toward ordination before succumbing to cancer.
Also attending the reunion were Susan’s son David Christopher Stanley and his family who attend St. Cuthbert’s. Delta. Steve and Pamela are at St. Laurence, where Steve is part of the diaconal presence.
Images: Top, Julian (foreground) and Jack Bailey, grandsons of Rev. Steve Bailey are the fifth generation of Baileys to attend a
service at St. Barnabas. Homepage and middle right, Some Baileys at the old family home on Kennedy Street in New Westminster following a service at St. Barnabas