Veteran television and radio presenter Mike Bailey OAM has been fondly remembered for his great human decency, selfless charity work and unfailing commitment to his family and Catholic faith at his Requiem Mass in Mortlake.
Mr Bailey, who worked in the Chancery office for the Archdiocese of Sydney until last year, died on 20 June at the age of 71 after suffering a stroke.
His parish priest, Fr Tom Stevens from St Patrick’s Mortlake was principal celebrant at a Requiem Mass for Mr Bailey on 15 July.
“I always loved his sense of humour, his charisma, his passion, his work ethic and his deep love and support for his family.”
Alongside Fr Stevens concelebrating the Mass were Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady, former Vicar General Monsignor John Usher and Fr John Knight.
In his homily, Fr Stevens paid tribute to Mike’s deep practical faith which led him to embrace a life of community service.
“Mike knew through his belief in Christ that in following Him, each one of us is empowered with a potential to help and change others’ lives for the better.
“His life was a full one: a life where hope was always present, yet was sadly cut so quickly and without notice”, he said.
Fr Stevens reflected upon Mike’s remarkable media career which saw him work across three TV networks, including over two decades as a weather presenter on ABC TV. He also served as chairman of his beloved Wests Tigers rugby league club and made an unsuccessful bid to enter federal politics in 2007, contesting the seat of North Sydney for the ALP.
Mike Bailey’s long service to the Catholic Church was also recognised when he received a Dempsey Medal in 2018.
An alumni of De La Salle Colleges at Bankstown and Ashfield, Mike had credited the De La Salle Brothers for instilling in him a deep commitment to social justice and community service.
“Mike knew through his belief in Christ that in following Him, each one of us is empowered with a potential to help and change others’ lives for the better.”
Mike Bailey’s son, Michael, spoke of how his father had been a great inspiration to him in so many ways.
“I always loved his sense of humour, his charisma, his passion, his work ethic and his deep love and support for his family. For many years, he would wake up at 3am to present a breakfast radio program, deliver a lecture in journalism at Macleay College at lunchtime and present the nightly weather on television, all the while caring for Mum, myself and family”, he said.
The Requiem Mass was held under tight COVID-19 restrictions which only allowed for a maximum of ten members of the congregation.
The Wests Ashfield club is planning a separate memorial to allow more friends and family to pay tribute to Mike Bailey once restrictions on public gatherings are eased.
Mike is survived by his wife Helena, son Michael and stepchildren Ben, Donovan and Arabella.