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Monday, 1 August 2011

Harry Hayes - A Tribute by Glenn Horridge

Harry Hayes
Harry was not only a life-long Salvationist but also an inspiration to thousands of people in and out of the Army world. Born in Batley, the youngest of nine children, Harry’s family were regular worshippers at the Parish Church and the children attended the Parish school. Harry’s father was a boot repairer and had a small wooden hut opposite one of the mills in Batley so there was no shortage of customers. At the age of 9 Harry was diagnosed with spinal TB and spent the five years from 1934 to 1939 being treated in hospital and enduring major orthopedic surgery. One operation at Leeds General Infirmary in particular was pioneering and consisted of bone being taken from his legs and used to replace diseased bones in the spine. Every year for a long time afterwards Harry used to ring the surgeon responsible to thank him – truly a measure of Harry’s thoughtfulness.

Upon leaving hospital in time for his 14th birthday, Harry was determined to do well in the world of work. He committed himself to self-study at evening-classes learning clerical skills and rose to become Accounts Manager at the Yorkshire Post. Just stating this hardly does credit to Harry’s work ethic. After leaving the Yorkshire Post Harry started his own business as a Philatelic Bookseller and Publisher and what a success he made of this.

As well as editing, he wrote a number of the books himself and his works are rightly regarded as definitive on the various philatelic subjects he wrote on. Harry also had a tremendous eye for detail and I well remember him discussing with a number of collectors such topics as the difference between the Sun Alliance and Salvation Army perfins! It was this philatelic business that taught and inspired thousands of people and Harry was certainly a tireless worker. Readers will be interested to learn that Harry’s love of philately came from his time in hospital where, upon learning of his nephew’s hospitalization, an uncle in Canada sent him a stamp album. Unfortunately, sometime later there was an infection at the hospital and Harry’s prized collection had to be destroyed.

In terms of Salvation Army philately, Harry established the Salvation Army Philatelic Association with a worldwide membership. As well as the always eagerly awaited quarterly Journal, Harry organized Conventions and stamp sales. Ever encouraging and always honest in his opinions, Harry was the stalwart of the Association and many of us will remember the fellowship shared at our gatherings. Harry was delighted to see the Association merge with the Christian Mission Historical Association to become today the well respected SA Historical and Philatelic Association.

Harry was equally tireless in his Salvationist activities serving with great dedication at Batley and York. Soldier, bandsman, songster leader, Torchbearer youth group leader (where he met Stella and where, as a popular activity, so many young people met their future spouses) and Corps Treasurer for 30 years! Out of uniform Harry loved his garden and again many of us will remember his Christmas cards showing portions of his garden. Harry’s funeral service, led by Lt.-Col Ray Kirby, was held at York Citadel on 19th April. All of us will miss Harry greatly and send our love to Stella and his family.

1 comment:

hendrica Govaars said...

Harry became a close friend of me through the many years of writing back and forward, as we discussed the Army stamps. He will be missed by many.