It was a warm sunny day on Wednesday, September 12, when our dear friend and sister in Christ, Agnes Helen Haynes was laid to rest until the resurrection morning. Many relatives and friends gathered for the 10:00am funeral service at the Castlebrook Memorial Park chapel, where her life was lovingly remembered. Fittingly, a beautiful solo, “Give Me Jesus” was presented, bringing to mind Sister Haynes’ love of the Lord. Many present had experienced the hospitality of the Haynes’ home in years gone by, and had found friendship, encouragement and inspiration in the warm and caring life of service that characterised Sister Haynes. Her strong faith and courage were recollected, and her hope in the eternal home prepared for God’s children.
Agnes Helen was born October 19, 1915, to Harry Edwell Samuel and Frances Christina Litherland, dairy and small crop farmers living near Murwillumbah, north coast NSW. The family later moved to Cudgera, Cudgen, and then to Upper Burringbar, where Agnes Helen attended a convent school at Burringbar to sixth grade. Agnes studied and loved the piano, an instrument bought as a gift by her father, and which she kept all her life until about two years ago, when she gave it to her niece.
Agnes met Charles Peter Haynes, whose family owned a banana plantation near Upper Burringbar. They married on October 10, 1938 in Lismore, NSW, and spent their honeymoon on a road trip through southern Queensland. The newlyweds made their home in Upper Burringbar until 1944, when they were called to work for the church, and commenced ministry in Brisbane. Their marriage was blessed with three children, Winifred Helen, born August 14, 1939, who sadly died in 1941 at the age of two; Elizabeth Jane Frances born December 21, 1942, and Harry Peter, born July 29, 1948.
After six years of ministry in Brisbane, in 1950 Charles and Agnes were called to the work in Perth, followed three years later in 1953 to an appointment in Sydney. In 1962, they were transferred back to Brisbane, and lived at Clayfield, where they also celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1963. In 1964, the Haynes family moved to 8 Whitehaven Road, Northmead NSW. Together with her husband, Sister Haynes exhibited a deep sense of service and sacrifice toward others, often taking in and helping those that needed help. In particular, many migrants arriving in the 1950’s to the 1970’s were received and cared for by the Haynes’ until they were able to find their feet. Their caring friendship and guidance will always be gratefully remembered by many. Sister Haynes showed a keen interest in young people; she was able to touch their lives in a special way, providing encouragement and advice.
After the death of her husband in 1986, Sister Haynes continued to live at Northmead with her daughter Elizabeth until they decided to move to The Willows about two years ago. Sister Haynes was able to look after herself almost until the end. Within the last few months of her life, she first went into respite care at Guildford for a short period, and as she quickly grew weaker and could no longer care for herself, she went to the Adventist aged care home at Kings Langley. Unfortunately her heart, lungs and kidneys began to fail, and at nearly 97 years of age, on Thursday September 6, at about midday, she quietly fell asleep in Jesus, to await the voice of God, calling her “to everlasting life” (Daniel 12:2).
The life of Sister Haynes will live on in the memory of those who knew her as a quiet, cheerful spirit who served without fuss, yet impacted and inspired the lives of so many with her faithfulness, hope and courage.
—adapted from the eulogy presented at the funeral service