For nearly five decades the name of A.A. “Paddy” Bailey was synonymous with international savings and credit cooperative development. A true visionary, Bailey dedicated himself to the promotion of co-ops, in particular credit unions.
Bailey started as an inspector of co-ops in Jamaica, becoming the leading organizer of credit unions there. He joined CUNA International in the 1950s, rising to become executive director of its World Extension Department. While at CUNA Bailey was responsible for the development of credit union leagues throughout the West Indies and the formation of the first regional credit union organization. His talents and enthusiasm for co-op philosophy were later applied in Africa, where he helped to found the African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Associations.
Bailey became the first full-time managing director of the World Council of Credit Unions in 1975, where he continued to be an innovative leader and co-op advocate.
Through his career and throughout his life, Bailey has been instrumental in spreading the word about the value of cooperation, and developing many new credit unions, credit union leagues and other institutions.