In Memoriam: Christopher E. Bailey (1941-2006)
Christopher E. Bailey was the Reference Department shelver at the John Cotton Dana Library, at the time of his death on February 3, 2006.
A resident of Elizabeth during his formative years, Chris developed a great interest in music in junior high school. He expressed his talent through drum playing, singing with groups, and composing songs which were performed in concert by musicians from his school. Following his graduation from high school, Chris worked as a drummer with local musical groups and took courses at Union College and Montclair State University.
For ten years, Chris worked at Allen Industries where he served his fellow workers as their union representative. He moved on to provide social services to young people in the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center.
During the Summer Semester 1994, Chris began his employment at the Dana Library as the evening serials assistant. His primary responsibility was to provide public services to patrons during the evening hours and on weekends, a role he filled admirably. After two years, Chris moved to a new position in the Reference Department. As the shelver, he kept the reference and government documents collections in perfect order, ready for immediate access by patrons, librarians and staff.
During his free time, "Mr. C" continued to enjoy music, as both performer and listener. He also took great pleasure in meeting family and friends at social gatherings, particularly the Tate Family and the Good Old Days Reunions.
Pride in his heritage led Chris to one of the most inspiring events in his life. In August 1963, he traveled to Washington, D. C. to participate in the March on Washington. On August 28th, Chris was privileged to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his "I have a dream" speech. Chris continued to express his pride by celebrating Black History Month (February) every year. Frequently he marked the occasion by wearing African style clothing.