Dr. Tom Bailey Memorial Garden and Education Fund

In October 2019 our community lost a very special advocate for seniors’ health.  Dr. Tom Bailey set up his family practice in Langford in 1978 and, over the next 40 years, he looked after generations of Western Communities families as well as seniors in residential care throughout the South Island.  Dr. Bailey’s relationship with long-term care started in 1984 as Medical Coordinator at the Priory Hospital and grew to include President of Medical Staff for the Juan de Fuca Hospitals (Aberdeen, Glengarry, Mt. Tolmie and Priory Hospitals) and membership on many supporting committees.  After amalgamation of the Vancouver Island hospital societies, Dr. Bailey served in many capacities including Medical Director of Residential Services for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, as well as being a member of the Medical Advisory Committee and the Ethics Committee for Island Health.  Outside of Vancouver Island, he was President of the BC College of Family Physicians (2000 to 2001), President and long time Board Member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (2006 to 2007), and a member of the BC Association of Geriatric Care Physicians and a host of other roles.

Dr. Bailey sat on the Eldercare Foundation’s Board of Directors for 16 years, providing us with knowledgeable and thoughtful guidance.  Continuing education was an important focus for this dedicated physician.  He was a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC and an associate professor in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria.  As a member of Eldercare’s Awards Committee, Dr. Bailey helped to support the education of healthcare employees from housekeeping staff to medical staff, all in an effort to provide the best possible care for the elderly. 

To honour Dr. Bailey’s legacy of caring for older adults, the Eldercare Foundation is working with his family to create two memorials.  In recognition of the deep respect he held for those working directly with very vulnerable seniors, the Tom Bailey Memorial Bursary will be held by the Eldercare Foundation and awarded by Camosun College annually.  This bursary will be for students in their Health Care Assistant, Practical Nursing and Licensed Practical Nursing programs.

Dr. Bailey was very excited for the seniors moving into the new Summit at Quadra Village long-term care residence.   To honour his life-long commitment to our vulnerable elders, a Circle of Life sculpture is being commissioned for the Summit’s courtyard garden.  Eldercare will work with the Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild with an aim for an installation and unveiling in September 2021.

Those of us who have had the privilege of working with Tom Bailey have lost a friend and mentor, but we have also gained so much by witnessing his integrity, his dedication and his willingness to step up to help wherever help is needed. 



Dr. Tom bailey memorial sculpture commission awarded

Congratulations to Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild member Steve Milroy.  Steve has been awarded the commission for the Dr. Tom Bailey Memorial Sculpture, which will be prominently displayed in the courtyard garden at The Summit long-term care facility on Hillside Avenue in Victoria. 



This bronze sculpture features Tom Bailey as an affable, warm, smiling, gentleman Doctor who is happily involved in the lives of his patients.  Here he is depicted amongst nature with a young boy atop his shoulders.  The boy is almost an extension of Dr. Bailey, representative of the patients Tom helped throughout his career.  The age difference between the two highlights the theme of the sculpture, “The Circle of Life,” as one is just starting out on this magical journey, while the other is nearing the end.

The boy is pointing to the remarkable fact of new life springing from the old tree stump. It is literally being supported by the gift of nutrients from the old, and is almost as if there was a mirror between the human pair and the forest pair.  The young sapling will only have the opportunity to become a mighty fir due to the strength of the life and work of its predecessor.

On behalf of the Eldercare Foundation and the Bailey family, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all eight artists from the Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild who sent us a proposal.  The creativity and diversity of the artwork submitted together with the exceptional skills of the artists made for a very difficult decision for our committee.   Once the committee chose the top three finalists, the decision became even more difficult with three very different design options and three very passionate and qualified artists.   If we could have commissioned all three, we definitely would have done just that!

We are so grateful to the Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild for all the help and support provided to the Eldercare Foundation and our sculpture committee during this commission process.  Thank you to Scott Gillies and David Hunwick for providing advice and information to support our process.  Thank you to Paul Harder for being the technical advisor for our committee.   And, thank you to the Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild for the amazing art your members create for the enjoyment of all!