|Description: A tinted photograph of Naomi Maude Harris. Her hair is pulled back, and she is wearing a white and blue dress. She is wearing a necklace that hangs down below the edge of the photograph. Her cheeks are tinted a blush colour. She has a black bow in her hair. The photograph is oval shaped, and is adhered to a grey mat board, probably originally inside an enclosed frame or case. The photograph has been professionally mounted in an archival frame. |
Naomi Maude Harris (1883-1968) lived at Benares her whole life. She was the youngest daughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary Harris (1859-1954) (née Magrath) who inherited Benares after Arthur's father, Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884), died in 1884. Annie Harris (1882-1986) was her older sister, and their youngest sister, Margaret, died shortly after childbirth in 1887. As her parents grew older, she took on more responsibility running the property. After Arthur died, she managed the household and looked after her mother.
This item was donated by Geoffrey Harris Sayers, who was born 23 April 1907 and died 25 November 1997. A retired businessman, he was the first child of Beverly and Annie Sayers (nee Harris). A member of the Canadian Armed Forces, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant 14 June 1938. Two years later, he was appointed Lieutenant. As of 21 April 1941, he was appointed the rank of Temporary Captain, and was recommended for appointment to the Lorne Scots (P. D. and H. Regiment) based out of Brampton. According to his military file, Captain Geoffrey Sayers served with the Canadian Armed Forces from 21 April 1941 until 11 October 1945, when he was honourably discharged. From 17 June 1941 until 13 March 1945, he also served with the British Forces (he had British citizenship). He received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp 1939-45.
Geoffrey Sayers and his sisters, Dora Sayers Caro, and Barbara Sayers Larson donated Benares Historic House to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969. It has operated as a museum under the City of Mississauga since 1995 and was officially transferred to Mississauga in 2000. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloten) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves.