Amy Bailey (1895 - 1990) - The National Library of Jamaica

Amy Bailey (1895 - 1990)

Amy Bailey gave voluntary service to numerous underprivileged girls in the field of education and social service training. With £100 she made a down payment for the property at 4 Rosedale Avenue in Kingston to start the Housecraft Training Centre. The Centre opened in January 1946 with a mission to train girls to bring out the best in themselves, to teach them respect for the self and the job. In essence her mission was to equip them with self sufficiency and self reliance. Here she mothered 6000 girls along with her adopted daughter. Amy was co-founder and first Chairman of the Women’s Liberal Club which fought to give women an acceptable place in the world both outside and inside the home. She fought relentlessly for the liberation of women and fervently believed that women should qualify themselves in order to achieve their aspirations and not be rewarded with inferior positions because of their sex. She along with Mae Farquharson, while in England raising funds for the Save-the-Children Fund, was advised that the real problem facing Jamaican women relates to the high birth rate. Having realized this, she quickly responded to the problem by teaching birth control on a small scale. Amy along with Dr. Hyacinth Lightbourne and others in 1938 organized the first birth control league. Amy Bailey is a strong Jamaican, inspired by Marcus Garvey, who believed in the dignity of people and the fight against racial discrimination and the marginalization of women.In 1938, she lectured at a Glasgow Peace Conference, Interlaken, Switzerland. She also visited the United States on tours to raise funds for the Housecraft Training Centre. She served on several organizations as:

  • President of the Shortwood Old Girls Association (1936-1937)
  • President Woman’s Liberal Club
  • President Kingston Technical School Group (1940-1941)
  • Vice President Kingston Technical School Group (1942)
  • Secretary Kingston Technical School Group (1942-44)
  • Vice Chairman Shortwood Old Student Association (1944-45)
  • Member of the executive of the Bureau of Standards, The Social Welfare
  • Board and Price Commission

Amy Bailey , a Justice of the Peace, in 1960 was made a member of the British Empire for voluntary social service and in 1990 she received the Order of Jamaica for Outstanding services to the women’s movement. She also received the Marcus Garvey award for Excellence in 1988.She lived by her motto – “Service is the rental one pays for one existence”. Miss Bailey died on October 3, 1990