Niagara Gazette

December 16, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Legacy: A gift to us

By Anita Short-Gore
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — One Sunday, in April last spring, our community came out for a wake held for Annie Mae Moore at Mount Erie Baptist Church and came out they did. Cars were parked on neighboring streets for blocks around. It was indicative of how well known the Moore family is and how they touched the lives of so many.  

Annie Mae was one of the “James sisters” they were all very close, friendly, generous and they would always be together and that is how we always will remember them: Their legacy.

As condolences were being made, in what can only be described as the most unselfish act that one could imagine, the Holland sisters entered in “together.” They came to share this family’s grief, having just attended a Homegoing Service for their mother the day before, with the interment forthcoming. 

This was a reflection of their mother Wanda Holland and the person she was: Her legacy. With the passing of our citizens (especially our elderly) we reflect on their lives as well as our own.  There is no greater gift than the gift of immortality. We all know the history, of our early communities in the city, Erie Avenue, site of the Community Center whose directors included Romania Grisby, John M. Pollard Sr.and Aaron L. Griffith. The Sunset Club, Murphy’s Grill, pool rooms, boarding houses, beauty and barbershops were establishments that are still remembered and spoke about.

William Rudolph was the first black bricklayer in Niagara Falls and Bloneva Bond professionally served as a community activist. Joseph H. Profit, supervisor on the Niagara County Board, the first black to serve in such a capacity along with Arthur Ray in his position on the Board of Education, these legacies have paved the way for many today.

The Williamson family through generations provides families a dignified approach to every aspect of funeral services. The legacy of our religious leaders and churches will always be highly revered, such as the Rev. H. Edward Whitaker held services in Crick Hall, the Rev. Edgar Huff of St. Johns AME Church, the Rev J.M. Bradley of Mount Erie Baptist Church and the Rev. Glen Raybon of the Trinity Baptist Church.

Raybon would go to any part of the city to talk and minister to those in need. With the recent reunions for residents of Jordan Gardens, Griffin Manor, the East Side, along with yearly family reunions it’s a time to share these legacies even bringing back those who have long left the city.

While we can’t stop time from passing we can treasure what it has left us. And yes there is trepidation. We often contemplate beside the contents of our last will and testaments is what will be left behind to be remembered.

Haki Aitoro wrote about achievements left, lives that were touched, and inspiration for future generations as he asks “What will you leave?” Special thanks to Katy K.

Anita Short-Gore is a Niagara Falls resident.