Ontario Black History Society

402-10 Adelaide St. E, Toronto, ON, M5C 1J3

Temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Contact us at admin@godaddy.blackhistorysociety.ca or (416)-867-9420

Charity Registration Number: 119930295RR0001

Rella Aylestock Braithwaite

Rella Aylestock Braithwaite

Black Historian Rella Braithwaite passed away at age of 96. Rella and her late husband Henry “Bob” Braithwaite, a World War 11 veteran, settled in Scarborough in 1946 and were one of the first African-Canadian families to live in the neighbourhood. Together the couple raised six children, Bryan, Victor, Valerie, Cecil, Diana and Charlane.

Although she had moved to Toronto as a young adult, until her death on July 23, 2019, Rella was one of the last surviving elders that had grown up in the Wellington County Black community, the first African- Canadian Black pioneer community in Upper Canada that was formed in the late 1700’s.

Rella’s sister Reverend Addie Aylestock was the first woman ordained as a minister in the BME church and the first Black woman ordained as a minister in Canada.

Seeing the need for their children to know their roots and rich cultural heritage, Rella developed a successful career as a Black historian, writer and researcher serving as co-president of the Ontario Black History Society for 3 terms.

Rella’s Favourite quote “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Stephen Grellet.