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.