Robert Lumsden Franks

August 04, 1917 - January 15, 2016 

Robert Lumsden Franks

August 04, 1917 - January 15, 2016 

Obituary for Robert Lumsden Franks

Robert Lumsden Franks 4th August,1917 to January 15 2016

Robert Lumsden Franks (Bob), born in Johannesburg, South Africa 4th August 1917, died peacefully at home on 15th January 2016, in his 99th year. Married to Beryl Fodisch in 1942 and together they both raised four daughters until Beryl’s passing in 1977 . Roberts’s second marriage was to Bridget Franks in 1979. Robert was predeceased by his parents, Robert F. Franks and Maude Aileen Quin, his first wife, Beryl, grandchildren, Joanne Torr and Ingrid (Beecham) Ryan, his greatgrandchild, D’Arcy Ryan and son-in-law, Kevin Torr, and also by his three brothers, John, Basil, and Irvine.

Robert is survived by his wife, Bridget, his four daughters Daphne (Arthur) Beecham, Cynthia (David) Wilson, Patricia (Kevin) Torr , Maureen (Richard) Steward, Lucy ( Bill) Bilinsky, son James ( Jennifer) Franks, twelve grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Robert’s schooling commenced at King Edward School for Boys, until 1927 when his family moved to Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where Robert continued his education at Plumtree and Milton schools. A keen member of the Bulawayo Boy Scout Troop Robert regularly attended their training camps in the famous Matopos National Park. At the 1928 Southern African Jamboree held at the Bulawayo Showgrounds he personally met Lord Baden Powell.
His first job after school was at the Rhodesian Railways, Bulawayo as a bookkeeper whilst studying accountancy at night school.
During WWII, because of his interest in photography, he underwent training at Cranborne Air Force Base, Salisbury and was seconded to the Air Recognizance Photographic Unit where he served in the Royal Air Force 237 Squadron in Eritrea and Egypt as a photographer. Recently, his war time story has been told in Survivor Diaries, Stories from WWII Heroes (published by the Temiskamining Speaker of New Liskeard).

After the war, he became a professional photographer, and established Robal Studios (PVT) Ltd. He was also a major shareholder and director of Associated Photographic Services in Bulawayo. His proficiency in photography ensured that he officiated at many weddings, schools, colleges, military establishments and recorded numerous historic events. Some of his official portrait subjects included Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Governors, and Prime Ministers of Rhodesia. His work also included the official aerial/survey photography of the Kariba Dam project on the Zambesi River.

In 1980, he emigrated to Canada with his wife, Bridget and their daughter Lucy and son James, where they joined his eldest daughter Daphne in Haileybury, Ontario. He worked at Bond Photo Lab in New Liskeard until his retirement in 1992.
Robert’s hobbies included singing and he acted in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Mikado, and was also a beautiful, ballroom dancer. An ardent golfer Robert was a life member of the Bulawayo Country Club and later The Haileybury Golf and Country Club where he also wrote a weekly column “Locker Room Chatter” for the local newspaper.

As an accomplished bridge player Robert enjoyed teaching the finer points of the game. He collected stamps and enjoyed growing beautiful roses.
A loyal Rotarian and recipient of the Paul Harris award, a member of the Bulawayo Club and The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 of Haileybury .
As a committed member of Anglican Church in Bulawayo and Haileybury, Robert instilled the Christian values he held in his family members his entire life
Even as a senior citizen, he learned to use his computer enjoying the access it gave him to family and friends throughout the world.

Bon Voyage Robert, Dad, Grandpa, GrandpaG and God speed. Your family and friends will miss you.

The Franks family will welcome friends at St Paul's / St John's Anglican Church, Haileybury on Saturday January 23, 2016 beginning 10:30am until time for the service at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St Paul / St John Anglican Church. Condolences, contributions and memorial candles may be left at

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