Faithful Gather in Memory

Father Jay Matthews, Chauncey Bailey’s minister,  reminisced about Chauncey. At left is Post reporter Aneesha Dryver and Wade McCalister. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Father Jay Matthews, Chauncey Bailey’s minister, reminisced about Chauncey. At left is Post reporter Aneesha Dryver and Wade McCalister. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

By Michael
Martin

“We grew up together.  He was very dedicated to his profession and to getting his story.”  Father Jay Matthews of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church on 82nd Avenue in Oakland, the home church of the late Chauncey Bailey, Jr., spoke these words at a gathering at 14th and Alice Streets in Oakland, honoring the memory of the late Mr. Bailey who was the editor-in-chief of the Oakland Post, and was shot and killed August 2, 2007.
“That is what I remember most about Chauncey Bailey,” Father Matthews continued, “he embraced the community – to have and to hold .” All who knew Mr. Bailey were touched, it appears, by his very presence.  Aneesha Dryer, a Post writer said “he still inspires people even after his death.”  She spoke of his dedication.  “He has inspired me,” she said, “because I want to be a journalist.”
Mr. Bailey was born in Oakland in October, 1949.  He lived in East Oakland, then attended high school at Hayward High School.  Mr. Bailey earned an Associate of the Arts degree from Oakland’s old Merritt Community College in 1968, and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Journalism from what is now San Jose State University in 1972.
His career in journalism spanned all media.  Mr. Bailey wrote for the Post in 1970.  He then became an on-the-air reporter for KNTV-television in San Jose.  For the next three years he was a writer for the San Francisco Sun-Reporter.
The following years took Mr. Bailey to Hartford, Connecticut (the Courant), Chicago (United Press International), then back to Oakland, where he served as editor of the California Voice from 1978 through 1980.  The following years took Mr. Bailey back to Chicago, then to Washington, D.C. to be a press secretary for then-freshman Congressman Gus Savage, Dem-Illinois.  Mr. Bailey returned to Oakland, worked for radio station KDIA, The Oakland Tribune, and, finally, the Post.
It was during his tenure at the Post, in the midst of his investigative reporting on the finances of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. that Mr. Bailey was murdered, in broad daylight, in the 200 block of 14th Street.
Mark Cooley, Mr. Bailey’s brother, told the Post that after three years, he is “disappointed, frustrated.  I am still having,” he continued, “that itch in my system that not enough has been done.  It’s like being cheated in a baseball game with your buddies.  You make up and play for different years, but you still feel the betrayal.  The trial has been too long coming.”