1881 – 1949
Sylvia “Sadie” Bloomfield, née Palmer (1881-1949), was the mother of the late Professor Lincoln Palmer Bloomfield (in addition to daughters Catherine – “Kitty” – and Joyce), and the grandmother of Lincoln Palmer Bloomfield, Jr. Born in Manhattan of immigrant German parentage, she grew up in Brooklyn and trained as an opera singer, graduating from Hunter College and studying at the New England Conservatory of Music.
In 1902 she married Meyer Bloomfield (1878-1938). With Meyer Bloomfield she co-founded the Civic Service House of Boston, and helped to create the Boston Music School Settlement. She was a founder and one-time President of the Boston League of Women Voters, and a leader in the Ethical Culture Society, as well as a director of Stuyvesant Neighborhood House and the Madison House Settlement. Living in New York and Scituate, Massachusetts, Sylvia performed as a young woman with the Boston Opera Society and other musical organizations, as well as neighboring towns including Scituate and Cohasset, Massachusetts. One 78 RPM recording preserves her memorable mezzo soprano voice. The name Palmer Coates honors Sylvia Palmer Bloomfield’s commitment to social betterment and her love of music, which lives on through many of her heirs.
1878 – 1943
Rt. Hon. J.G. Coates (1878-1943), a noted figure in New Zealand’s political history, was the father of the late Dr. Irirangi Coates Bloomfield (along with four other daughters) and the grandfather of Lincoln Palmer Bloomfield, Jr. A veteran of WWI, he served in Parliament from 1911 until his death in 1943. He was the first native-born elected Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1925-28. During his career he also served as Minister of Public Works, Minister of Railways, Minister of Finance during the great Depression, and Minister of Defence during WWII. He died in office in 1943.
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