|Description: A sepia photographic print of a painting of a little girl seated on the ground with a painted landscape in the background.
This is a copy of the painting " Age of Innocence" by English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792). The original oil painting is housed in the National Gallery in London, England.
The photographs most likely belonged to Lucy Harris. Lucy Harris (1844-1925) was the daughter of Captain James B. (1797-1884) and Elizabeth Harris (née Molony) (1829-1884), and sister of Arthur. She lived at Benares until an inheritance in 1880 allowed her to move to Toronto in a trendy neighbourhood with her sister Elizabeth (Bessie). Lucy loved antiques and helped organize a club for women interested in ceramics.
In 1876, Lucy travelled to Scotland to visit her aunts in Perthshire with her brother Arthur. In a letter to James 16 November 1876, Matilda writes about their trip back to Canada: ‘I hope Lucy and Arthur soon got over their Seasickness, and trust you and all are well.’ Their sisters, Elizabeth (Bessie) and Annie, engaged in a similar tour to Scotland, Ireland, and England in 1871. James Beveridge Harris’s sisters, Margaret Patton and Matilda Lindsay, both lived at Rose Terrace, Perth, with their cousin Margaret Anne Patton in the 1870s and 1880s.
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 (née 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 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 of the 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.