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Letter: F. Livesay to Mary Harris March 7 1944
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Title: Letter: F. Livesay to Mary Harris March 7 1944
Identifier: 2006.1.43
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1944
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A letter dated March 7, 1944 on grey paper, handwritten in ink addressed to "My Dear Mrs. Harris" from J.F.B. Livesay. The letter thanks Mrs. Harris for the visit and compliments her on "making Benares a centre of love and friendship". The note paper has printed heading "Woodlot, Clarkson, Ontario". The page has been folded in half. At the top, handwritten in pencil reads "Be sure & return this".

John Frederick Bligh Livesay (1875-1944) was born in the Isle of Wright and immigrated to Canada when he was twenty. Known as Fred, Livesay moved to the Clarkson area buying some property from the original Benares Estate. Fred Livesay was a writer whose first full time newspaper job was with the Winnipeg Tribune in 1903. He later became the Western Associate Press Manger in 1907 and was instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Press where he was the General Manager for twenty years retiring in 1939. Fred also wrote many books and was a talented photographer. He spent his last remaining years in Clarkson at his home called the "Woodlot". He died in 1944.

Fred was a lifelong friend of the Harrises and had a particular affection for Annie, Arthur and Mary Harris's oldest daughter. Barbara Larson, Annie's daughter, recalls the stories of Fred wooing her mother and she still has many of the gifts he would bring Annie during their long friendship. Fred eventually gave up on Annie and married Florence Randal in 1908. Together they had two daughters, Dorothy Livesay (1909- 1996) considered one of the leading Canadian poets of the twentieth century and Sophie Livesay (1912-1991) who was a renowned artist. Annie and Fred remained close friends throughout their lives.
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