Orphanage Memories

Ian English

Castle Hill, Australia

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 69

Artist's Description

During the recent Red Bubble Rumble in Goulburn NSW Australia, Dianne and I found the abandoned and vandalised orphanage. This apparently was the nursery room. The second image is our granddaughter in pensive mood.
Nikon D700 24-70 f2.8 tripod
ISO 200 f2.8 @48mm 1/1000th – 1/60th sec 5 x RAW files tonemapped in Photomatix Pro2 and processed with PS CS5
Featured in: Rural NSW 13 Oct 12 Featured in: Image Writing 13 Oct 12
Featured in: Art Universe – Daily Dazzler 13 Oct 12 Featured in: Redbubble Rumbles NSW 14 Oct 12
Featured in: Altered by Imagination 14 Oct 12 Feayured in: Absolute Clarity 14 Oct 12
Featured in: Exquisition 15 Oct 12 Featured in: The Best of Red Bubble 17 Oct 12
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St John’s Orphanage, Goulburn
The Orphanage was opened in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy and The Catholic Church, with the foundation stone laid and blessed on the 17th of March by Bishop Gallagher of Goulburn. It was one of the first orphanages to be built in Goulburn. From 1905 until 1912 St. Johns housed both males and females. In 1912 St. Joseph’s House of Prayer was opened which became Goulburn’s girls orphanage.
St. John’s orphanage had many extensions after it was established. A west wing and a chapel was added in 1919, then a new east wing and a rear room during the 1920s. A hall was then constructed and completed in 1932, and an extension to the south wing in 1938.
After 71 years in operation, the building closed in 1976. It is a reportedly haunted location. The orphanage site is listed as a heritage conservation area under Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s Local Environment Plan.2 It was used from the late 1970’s to the late 1990’s as Youth With A Mission Base Goulburn, where people young and old came from all over the world to do Discipleship training Courses and to serve on staff in this Christian Interdenominational Organisation.
Two stories from boys who lived there. There must be many more, all different !!
“I was at St Johns for 7 yrs from 1965-71 and in 66 we celebrated its Centenary, so it will be 150yrs in 2016. I’ve mixed emotions in regards to the above as there were good and bad memories flooding through, looking back on them now it was a unique experience and seeing it now so run down its sad. I know boys suffered, as did myself at times but it also had an environment that led the imaginations to roam and adventures were had. Most memories could be made into movies as it really was an experience!!!!”

“Iam sixty seven years, found this web sight & the photo brought back my life at st johns,the goverment placed me there when Iwas four years old, the home losely used!! was a life of hell for me:raped by a older boy at four also raped by the handy man R. M. till he left. doing the washing for the school at a very young age no schooling for me as I had to work . the thing that I hate the head nun ( mother Gen)for was the public floggings on the sat nights, the only thing that kept you going was the mates you had made,we lived a hard life the nuns did not like the life at the home & showed it.
I was very lucky that Fred & Eileen Thompson & Meg took me in their home for holidays at age nine & showed me Love to this day I thank them for that love. Meg & I still talk on the phone & have holiday, thay are the reason that I met my wife. it was in 1947 to 1957 that I & my brothers where at the home.”
More info on St Johns

Artwork Comments

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