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Harris-Tune Family

Frederick Charles Harris

Written by Jean Tune (nee Harris), granddaughter and 4th grandchild

In 1885 a dairy farmer named Frederick Charles Harris (1864-1937) came to Downfall Creek from Staverton, Devonshire, England, and bought property portion 549 on Herman Road (now Hamilton Road) on the opposite corner to Herrmann's farm. Both properties were sold to Packer and Knox, wool scourers - the Herrmann property in 1892 and the Harris property in 1937. The property of F C Harris is now parkland situated at the North East corner of the Roundabout on the corner of Hamilton and Webster Roads, Chermside.

In 1889, Frederick married Hannah Eleanor Carroll (1858-1939). Hannah was born in Clayton, Lancashire, England, and was residing in Brisbane at the time. There were three children, Frederick Sydney Carroll (1892-1956); Samual Leslie (1896-1964); and Alice Maud (1898-1938). Younger son Samuel married Daisy Emily Herrmann, thus uniting the two families.

Frederick had a late milk delivery and was noted for his exceptionally clean horse, cart and harness. Fodder which was cut with a scythe, was grown to feed the stock, which consisted mainly of Jersey cows. Rich cream was separated from the milk. The shed, which housed various machines for cutting chaff and grinding corn, was constantly in operation.

The property grew many fruit trees namely - guavas, loquats, mulberries, persimmons and many varieties of citrus fruit. Besides the dairy farm, poultry was kept to supply the household with eggs and birds for table use.

To this day, a creek runs through the Webster Road end of the property, where the three eldest Harris grand children, Leslie, Vera and John (Jack) paddled a canoe. The canoe was made from a sheet of galvanised iron, tarred at both ends to prevent leaks - though it was not fool proof. Many times it over-turned, tipping them out. They were young, the water deep and could not swim, but they survived by clinging to the canoe and assisting each other to the bank. It was still fun.

The property is now owned by the Brisbane City Council as parkland for the enjoyment of all citizens and forms part of the Mountains to Mangroves Corridor.

Jean Tune, October 2001

House and farm owned by Frederick and Hannah Harris on Hamilton Road, Chermside. It was sold by the family in 1937. The view from the rear of the house included Webster Road Chermside.

Samuel Leslie Harris


Written by Jean Tune (nee Harris), younger daughter

8 January 1896 - 4 July 1964

Sam (as he was known to his friends) was born on 8th January 1896 in Herman Road, Downfall Creek, which many years later changed to Hamilton Road, Chermside. He resided at this address all but five years of his life when he worked on a share farm from approximately 1917 to 1922 in Kilcoy, Queensland. He was the younger son of English parents Frederick Charles and Hannah Eleanor Harris. He attended Sunday School at Downfall Creek and commenced school six months after the Chermside State School was founded in 1900.

Returning from Kilcoy he worked as a storeman for William Hacker then George Early who both owned grocery and produce stores in Gympie Road, Chermside.

In 1914 he married Daisy Emily Herrmann ninth child of Gottlieb and Maria. Gottlieb was the eldest son of Jacob and Dorothea after whom Herrmann Place is named. From the union there were five children - Leslie George 1915-1999, Vera Maud 1916-1997, John Allan 1919-1942, Evelyn (Jean) born 1924-, Ray Samuel 1929-1994.

In 1936 Sam and Daisy Harris built their home next door to the house they were living in and this property was rented until resumed by the State Government. His parents lived on the other side of Hamilton Road.

In World War II, February 1942, John (Jack as he was known) a wireless operator in the R.A.A.F., was captured by the Japanese Army and killed at Ambon, Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.

Sam showed a great interest in sport. He played for the Ti Tree cricket club and the Chermside Methodist Church cricket team had his guidance as secretary from its inception in 1946. He was also an umpire in the Church Cricket Association for many years. Sam was instrumental in the formation of a Vigoro team and was an umpire for the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society of Australasia Juvenile Lodge No. 16. His daughter, Jean, represented Queensland in 1940.

As a well respected citizen of Chermside, Sam was deeply involved in many community organisations throughout his life being secretary for record periods of time for 34 years with the P.A.F.S of A Lodge No. 54 which he joined in 1924, the Chermside School of Arts and the Chermside State School. He was an active member of the Progress Association and Library Committee. In later years he became a foundation member of the Chermside Rotary Club and was also associated with the Chermside Bowling Club.

During World War II Sam worked as a foreman builder with the Civil Construction Corps, building and repairing bridges in Brisbane.

Sam's father, Fred, a dairy farmer, was well known locally for his long hours and hard work, and was regularly seen ploughing his fields until midnight with the aid of a lantern. Sam was not drawn to follow in his father's footsteps, and instead, became a builder in the early thirties until his death in 1964. Sam was involved in the construction of many houses built in the local area, country and seaside areas. For a number of years the building firm was a family affair including Sam Harris, Les Harris, Ray Harris and Enie Sestero (son in law). A timber yard in Zenith Avenue, Chermside, near his residence, housed his truck and machinery for preparation of timber used in his building work.

During World War II Sam Harris' home at Hamilton Road, Chermside, was a haven for solders who were camped in Marchant Park and they enjoyed the hospitality and home made food prepared by Daisy Harris which was so lovingly offered to them.

After the State Government resumed the row of houses including both Harris properties for the later construction of the Prince Charles Hospital, Sam moved his house across Hamilton Road in 1948. The house was lowered and has the new address of 2 Zenith Avenue, Chermside.

Sam's Christian influence and loyal service exercised in local affairs, including trustee, chorister and member of the Chermside Methodist Church for over thirty years, will long be remembered.

During his lifetime, Sam had a desire that, as he was born in the district, he would like to die there. This wish was fulfilled as he passed away suddenly but peacefully on 4th July 1964 in the home he had lived in for twenty eight years.

Jean Tune (nee Harris), October 2001

Jean Tune (nee Harris)


Having lived in Chermside since I was born in 1924, it was a natural progression that I should want to reside there when I married Norm Tune, an Electrical Contractor, in 1947.

We were able to purchase a block of land at the corner of Barker and Pilba Street for £100 in what was semi bushland. However, we soon learnt that the State Housing Commission was to spend £500,000 to build 450 new homes on acreage at the back of our property. At the time we were not very pleased as we imagined it would down grade the value of our block of land. Now, many people are buying the homes to renovate or remove to build new ones as the view from quite a number of allotments overlooks the city and the mountains. Numerous houses were built of fibro cement. This being the cheapest form of material and more easily procurable at the time.

When we first came here there were dirt roads and a bus route was made from Rode Road into Pilba Street, then to Warril Street, thence to the Chermside Drive In, which was opened in May 1957. Imagine the dust that settled in our house!

There were not many homes in Barker Street at the time, although folk across the road from us had bought a military hut and resided in it until a new home could be constructed when building materials became available.

I have lived in the same house for 53 years, although 21 years alone, Norm having passed away in April 1980. We had two sons. Colin born in 1949, Keith in 1953 and although the Wavell Heights State School was quite close, I insisted they attend the Chermside State School because my uncle, Fred Harris, was a foundation pupil in 1900. My father, Sam Harris and his sister, Alice Harris, started six months later. I, my three brothers, sister, husband, niece, nephew and cousins attended the school. Many folk thought I was crazy sending my sons to Chermside School because the main Gympie Road had to be negotiated without any traffic lights or pedestrian crossings. But they survived!

Approximately 30 years ago, the border of Chermside and Wavel Heights was altered and I no longer live in Chermside. I am very disappointed as I was born in the district and it was my desire to follow in my father's footsteps and spend my remaining days there.

Tune House 1952
Tune House, March 1952

Tune House 1970
Tune House, 1970