Harry Williams is laid to rest
JOHN Henry Williams - "Harry" to a multitude of family, friends and acquaintances - was laid to rest in Murwillumbah yesterday.
Mr Williams died on Monday aged 87 following a short illness. He left this world peacefully in his own bed surrounded by his devoted family.
Loving husband, father and uncle, a serviceman during World War II, an astute, hard-working businessman and community-conscious citizen, Harry Williams took full advantage of his time here.
He lived a good life and with the love and respect of all who crossed his path.
"And a handy golfer," as Mr Williams liked to describe his talents on his second home, Murwil- lumbah Golf Course.
All Saints Anglican Church at Murwillumbah was packed as a host of people from all walks of life converged to bid him farewell and pay their respects.
Mr Williams obviously took heed of the old adage, "idle hands are the devil's workshop".
He was always busy at work, play, with family and in making a huge contribution to his community.
His staff at JH Williams & Sons revered him; and that's a lot of staff.
The business now specialises in agricultural, ani- mal health, garden and pool, building and paint supplies.
Mr Williams commenced working there under his dad, James Henry Williams, in the late 30s and continued "going to the office" until just before Christmas last year.
"Mr Harry as we all called him, was a wonderful man - a true gentleman and all our staff loved him," said one long-time JH Williams employee.
"He knew everybody's name, where they lived and all the little details about their families. He treated staff as being part of his extended family."
Mr Williams and the family business have been part and parcel of Tweed's history since the 1930s.
James (Jim) Henry Williams came to Australia from England and farmed at Tyalgum before purchasing a seed and produce store from the Winterbon family in April, 1935. As the business grew, his daughter Quida and Harry joined the company.
At the outbreak of World War II Harry joined the AIF and served in the Pacific, leaving the business to be run by his father, sister and younger brother Earle.
On return to Civvy Street after the war, Mr Williams and his brother Earle gradually took over the running of the com- pany from their father and in 1953, JH Williams & Sons Pty Ltd was formed.
The company has expanded markedly since then but has never strayed from the original concept of being a family business, working for the community with integrity.
You can't get by in business without being tough - and Harry Williams was certainly that as he oversaw the company's expansion from a small enterprise in Murwillum- bah. But he was fair and many who dealt with would have admired him for his honesty.
Mr Williams is survived by his wife Veema, daughter Susan, brother Earle and his wife Alice and nephews and nieces, Julie, Neil, Phillip, Dianne, Bruce and Lorraine.