The Fisherman's Advocate, May 28, 1976, pages 1 & 2)

A Tribute to:


It was with great sorrow that we learned that Ella Coaker Bailey had died suddenly at Port Union on May 14. Besides her husband Aaron, and her sister Louise Coaker, she left to mourn a wide circle of friends.

Her early years were spent in St. John's, where she was born and where she received her education, first at Bishop Spencer College, and later at Memorial College. her father was John Coaker, a former member of the St. John's City Council, and a prominent city sportsman. he was a brother to Sir William Ford Coaker, whose inexhaustible energy brought forth the first fisherman's union in Newfoundland and who established, among other ventures, The Fisherman's Advocate.

In 1923, Ella Coaker came to Port Union to live with her uncle. From then on she considered it, and not the place of her birth and childhood, to be her true home, and she came to share Sir William's interest in and concern for the people of the Northeast Coast. In 1929 she married Aaron Bailey, and thereupon entered into a domestic union that continued to be enviably happy.

Thought childless, Ella Coaker Bailey loved children and her warm regard for them and for her fellowman in general was manifested by her active involvement in community and church affairs. Among her interests was the Girl Guides Association, and for a period of time she served as a member of the Canadian Council of that association.

In her early years she was an active member of the ladies' auxiliaries of both the Lions' Club and the Masonic Order. her work way? (was) always undertaken with diligence and dedication, but always too with that quiet and unassuming way that was so much a part of her gentle character.

But these biographical details cannot even begin to suggest the worth or the importance of her life. It was Ella herself, far more than what she did that was her priceless contribution to her community, her friends, relatives and acquaintances. She was unfailingly kind and generous. There was no trace at all of affectation or enmity about her. One felt that what in human terms we mean by high or low station in life had no meaning at all for her. She would treat prince or servant with equal respect and equal solicitude.

She was a very great lady and a true Christian in the sense embodies by the Sermon on the Mount. One always felt that Ella instinctively understood and tried to emulate daily Christ's command that we should love our neighbours as ourselves. Her many acts of charity towards others was always infused with a warmth and a personal hoy in giving. Much of the good she did will perhaps never come t light for she was discreet beyond measure and profoundly sensitive to the feelings of others. her strong faith in gods's goodness enabled her to meet her death with total acceptance and confidence.

She was buried at Port Union, following a memorial service at the Church of the Holy Martyrs on Tuesday, May 18.

It is typical that Ella Coaker Bailey, who dearly loved flowers herself, requested before she died that in lieu of flowers, any donations in memory of her be turned to the practical assistance of others. They may be sent to the Canadian Heart Foundation, Newfoundland Division, Post Office Box 5819 in respect for her memory.

The sense of loss that she leaves behind her is inestimable. but any person who came in contact with her, especially those who were fortunate to know her well, cannot help but take consolation in realizing the privilege and honour it was to have been touched by a life lived with such innocence, such compassion, and such joy.

R. McD.


Transcribed by James Butler, 2000