Burial register ID: 733
Surname: BAILEY
First name: BESSIE
Middle names: RABY
Gender: Female
Age: 88 Years
Cause of death: Cerebral Thrombosis
Burial type:
Date of death: 24-Jul-1970
Date of burial: 27-Jul-1970

Block: 134
Plot: 11

No inscription present

Bio contributor: Janice Donelly

Bessie Raby Bailey was born on 25th October 1881 at Clyde Street, Dunedin. She joined the North East Valley Baptist Church on 14th January 1903 at the time of her baptism.

Bessie attended George Street School, then the North East Valley Normal School, and was admitted to the register of that school on 8th February 1888.

Bessie worked for her father George Bailey in his tailoring business in the Octagon, Dunedin, and was involved in many of the North East Valley Baptist Church’s organisations. Her most lengthy service for the church was as a Bible Class Leader of the Young Women’s Class, between 1919 and 1921. She continued with this age group of young women (16 – 22 years of age) until about 1942. The final six or seven years Bessie shared the duties with Emily Clifton Wright, a great friend. She is remembered for the camps she organised ‘For Girls’, and the ‘At Home’ weekends when Bessie had them stay at her home in Montague Street.

Bessie was also responsible for organising the roster for church flowers each weekend for many many years, until about 1950, and in the mid-1930s she was appointed a Deaconess (Church Visitor), and maintained this role until only a few years before her death in 1970. She was also in charge of the church ‘Cradle Roll’ (for babies from birth, until they started attending Sunday School), which she did for around 30 years.

The only other member of the Bailey family to become a member of the North East Valley Baptist Church was Harry Raby Bailey, who joined on 16th April 1905, following baptism. Harry remained a member until his death in 1957. Harry’s brother George Tekau Bailey was never a church member, but always attended church services when he stayed with Bessie, which was quite often.

Bessie Raby Bailey died on 24th July 1970 aged 88 years.

Bessie Bailey
Source: Janice Donnelly

Bessie’s home at 54 Montague Street
Source: Hocken Collections, University of Otago (Ref S07-248)

There are 4 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
BAILEY BESSIE RABY 88 Years 24-Jul-1970 27-Jul-1970
BAILEY EMILY ROSE RABY 6 Years 28-Oct-1885 30-Oct-1885
BAILEY GEORGE 73 Years 07-Aug-1922 09-Aug-1922
BAILEY MARIA 73 Years 13-Feb-1926 15-Feb-1926