Stanley and Phyllis Harrison
(Summerhill Stud/Olivia Schaffer/Michael Nefdt)

You’d have to go back to the year of Nelson Mandela’s birth to recall the birthdate of Stanley Frederick Harrison, who’s now in his 91st year. For the past 20 years he and his lively wife, Phyllis, have graced Summerhill, Hartford and our environs with their enthusiasm and zest for life. Well into his 80’s, Stan continued to manage the hygiene of the farm, the stocking of the trout, the bird counts, and most importantly, he kept tabs on every winner that flowed from our stallion barn.

Just a fortnight ago, he provided us with a resume of every stallion’s progeny, right back to the time of our “grandest” man, Northern Guest, with a run-down of their winners, (by sex), their Stakes performers, their average wins per winner. A fascinating record, meticously kept in his own longhand, for later generations to enjoy.

On Monday, after 20 years at Summerhill, this gracious couple packed up their goods, said goodbye to the birds in their garden and a tribe of grandchildren and great grandchildren, and headed for a retirement complex in Hillcrest.

“Granny” Harrison was until recently a regular visitor to the Admin Office, so she’ll no doubt be missed by Tanya, Megan & Chantal. There’s not a soul though who won’t miss their decency, and the unusual things they added to our lives.

As he was leaving, SFH remarked that he’d spent the best 20 years of his life with us, and that there were only two things that stood out as “disasters”. The first was when a rat shorted the wires in his car, ignited a fire which destroyed his garage and the car (Granny’s good old Catholic response “God has his ways!”) and when he was on his way to feed the trout, and his replacement car ran away with him, and plunged into the dam!

We all wish them a long life.