Churchie’s oldest known living Old Boy, Harry Mills (number 714 on the school register) has passed away at the age of 102. Harry came to Churchie in 1928 as a day boy and St John’s Cathedral chorister. One of his fondest memories was catching the tram to school each day with his friends and the Somerville House girls. Another was running the Mile under the encouragement of Canon Morris calling ‘Finish Hard’. This always lifted his spirits and for a moment he would forget about the pain and fatigue he was experiencing. Harry always treasured his association with Churchie and attended what would be his last Vintage Vikings lunch soon after his 100th birthday. He and his son Stephen (who attended Churchie in 1960 and 1961) are the first known father and son to both be Vintage Vikings.
Harry left Churchie in 1931, at the height of the Great Depression, when one third of people were out of work. He was fortunate enough that his Uncle had a clothing factory in Brisbane and this is where he started his career. Whilst employed there for 7 years, he was engaged solely with the accounts. He had no computers or calculators and became very good at mental arithmetic which helped him greatly throughout his career. He was working at Qld Trustees firm, when World War 2 broke out he joined the Army as a Private and spent four years (1942-1946) stationed in Brisbane with the District Finance Office (DFO), achieving the rank of Warrant Officer.
Harry and his wife Dorothy (a Somerville House girl) had one son and two daughters. Later came the blessing of 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. In 2010, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and received a congratulatory letter from the Queen.
His professional working career saw him qualify as a Chartered Accountant. He later become a partner with KPMG, from which he officially retired in 1977 at the age of 62. After retirement, Harry spent a great deal of time travelling overseas, particularly to Austria to be with various family members including the grandchildren. He remained very active throughout all of his years. He enjoyed learning languages, including German, French and Italian. He had a strong passion for cricket, played tennis until aged 79, was swimming until aged 88 and could say that he held his driver’s licence until he was 97.
We are truly saddened at the passing of such a remarkable Old Boy. Farewell Harry! RIP!