Harry’s Chair

Harry’s Chair

 This chair was donated to the Church in 1932 by Mrs Kate Saunders in loving memory of her husband – Mr Harry Hind Saunders. 

Harry was a well-known resident of Roma and he died on 2 April 1932 aged 61 years. Harry was born in Roma in 1870 and was Mr James Saunders youngest son, who was the first chemist to commence business in Roma. 

Harry’s father – James Saunders, was well known in the Church, he died aboard the steamer ‘Morton Bay’, and was buried at sea on November 13 1935. The late Mr. James Saunders was returning from Great Britain, where he had attended the Church of Christ World Conference. James, who was 89 years of age, was organist of the Ann Street Church of Christ for many years and a pioneer of the Church of Christ in Roma. Before his death he was probably one of the oldest organists in the world, having been actively connected with Church music for about 70 years. 

After attending Roma State School, Harry went to the Toowoomba Grammar School, where besides completing his studies, he became a very fine all-round athlete and was one of Toowoomba’s representative Rugby Union football players. He was also a good all-round cricketer and tennis player. 

After leaving school, Harry, like his elder brothers, William and Ernest, also became a qualified chemist and in 1889 joined and assisted his father as a Chemist. After his father’s retirement he succeeded his father in this business in Roma. 

Harry was very well respected, liked and always had a cheery word, particularly for the mothers who sought his advice and help with ailing children. He relieved many mother’s anxiety as to the health of her child, either by his own attention or by advice to obtain Medical attention. He had 2 of his sons go to war and his son Norman made the supreme sacrifice while on active service during the Great War – World War 1 – and his elder son Claude was severely wounded as well as being a prisoner of war in Germany. 

Mr Saunders was also a member of the Roma Town Council, having been elected as Alderman. He took a very keen interest to civic matters. 

Harry’s funeral service was conducted by Evangelist Lionel Johnston of the Church of Christ of which Harry was an active and valuable member. The church choir sang a verse of a favourite family hymn “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”. 

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