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Rev. John Christian Symons was a close friend and associate of Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA, and was instrumental in the founding and continuance of the YMCA in England and, most particularly, Australia (of which he emigrated to in 1856). Symons was one of the first Secretaries of the YMCA along with William Creese. Symons died in Australia in February 1894. He is described as having "led the most uniformly distinguished (and strenuous) life as Australia's most formidable Wesleyan Minister" (George Williams and the YMCA by in Clyde Binfield and The Life of Sir George Williams by J. E. Hodder Williams).
A stamped caption on the back reads "Largest and finest studio in New England Goldsmisth 374 St. Springfield, Mass.