TRIBUTES have been paid to Heckmondwike stalwart Henry John (Jack) Harris, who has died after a short illness, aged 87.
Mr Harris was well known in the town for his charity work and could often be seen collecting for various appeals including the Gold Hearts Variety Club, RAF Wings Appeal, the Royal British Legion and the Alexandra Rose Charities. He would spend hours of his time collecting in Morrisons and in Cleckheaton’s Tesco and in one year he raised an incredible £7,000.
Mr Harris was born in Islington, London, and when he left school he worked at Moss Brothers as a tailor until the war.
He met his wife to be, Annie, during his time in the Air Force and the couple married at Heckmondwike Parish Church in 1943.
They had two children, Rodney and Stephen.
During the war Mr Harris served in Burma and Hong Kong and when the war ended he went to work at BBA where he stayed for more than 25 years.
He was a member of RAFA for more than 50 years and enjoyed several committee positions, including membership of the national council.
He was also a member of the Royal British Legion and the Burma Star Association and travelled the country to attend various conferences and meetings.
Carol Bridgman, who was a poppy appeal organiser for 22 years, said Mr Harris would be greatly missed.
She said: “Jack collected for the poppy appeal for more than 30 years. When we were selling, people would come down and ask for him if they couldn’t see him. He was a lovely chap and did so much for charity. He really cared.”
Mr Harris enjoyed travelling with his wife and in 1989 the couple visited Hong Kong on a war grave pilgrimage.
More than 50 people went on the trip including some prisoners of war.
They stayed in Singapore and laid a wreath at the Sai Wan Military Cemetery in Hong Kong. Mrs Harris died in 1999.
Mr Harris had an older brother, Ted, and leaves two grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.