Sayers Family Gallery
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Title: Painting - Forks of The Credit River
Identifier: 979.6.71
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1898
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: An oil on canvas painting of a man fishing on a river. Framed in a wood, gesso and gold painted ornate frame. Painting is initialed by the artist on the lower right corner. Written on the back of the painting is 'Forks of the River Credit, Ontario', painted by J.N. Sutherland., 1898.

This landscape of the Forks of the Credit, probably in Caledon, was painted by Captain John Newton (Jack) Sutherland (1841-1914), the youngest son of Captain Edward Sutherland. The Sutherlands were related to the Harris's through Mary Harris’s mother, Christiana, who was Edward’s sister. Fanny Sutherland (1833-ca.1906), who painted the portrait of Lucy Harris in the Benares Drawing Room, was John’s sister. John was born in 1841 in Cape Breton, and educated at the Scotch Academy in Halifax before moving to the Clarkson area with his family in 1856. The Sutherlands lived at Bush’s Inn, renamed Woodburn, on Clarkson Road South where they pursued farming. John continued his military education in Toronto and became an adjutant and government drill instructor for the Niagara military district during the period of the Fenian Raid in 1866. He was also the Captain of the 44th Battalion in Welland, retiring from the corps in 1868. John then began his railroad career, working with both the Great Western Railways and Canadian Pacific Railway from which he retired in 1908. John married Caroline Rooth in 1871 and together they has seven children: four daughters and three sons. John died in Oakville in 1914. For information in the Sutherland family, see: Malcolm Sutherland, "A Fighting Clan: Sutherland Officers: 1250-1850" (London, Avon Books: 1996); Museums of Mississauga, "A Family of Artists: Generations of Art by Descendants of the Sutherland Family, An Exhibit 26 January to 6 April" (Mississauga, Museums of Mississauga, 2002).

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 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.
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