Some sources state this home was in Section Street but in 2013 a former resident of the Orphanage, who was there in the 1950s, has told the Find & Connect web resource that the Home's location was the corner of Industrial Drive and Tourle Street, where there is now a park. In 2014, this area is known as Murray Dwyer Circuit.
This correspondent's memories are supported by 'An Assessment of the Historical and Archaeological Values of BHP Land at Tourle Street, Newcastle' (1996). It states the Murray-Dwyer Orphanage was located on Tourle Street, at a site identifiable as CMA Map U6357-8 at position LJ 810605. At that stage, the land was owned by BHP Newcastle, who had demolished the building in 1970.
In 1942, owing to World War II and Japanese submarine activity in Newcastle Harbour, Murray-Dwyer Boys' Home was evacuated from its vulnerable position on the waterfront. The boys and the sisters were moved to a section of Bishop Murray Memorial Home (Monte Pio Orphanage), at Campbells Hill in Maitland. In 1945 the Sisters and children returned to the Orphanage buildings at Mayfield. The buildings were extended again in the 1950s.
In 1950 the Home, then described as Murray Dwyer Memorial Orphanage, featured in a souvenir Mayfield Jubilee Booklet. The booklet said the orphanage was established in a 1902 residence that had been used by the Superintendent of the Australian Agricultural Company and was purchased by the Bishop of Maitland, Rev Dr E Gleeson, in 1933 as a memorial to his predecessors Bishops Murray and Dwyer. The home was for orphan and homeless boys aged between four and 12 and was run by six sisters of the French religious community Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul, with a resident chaplain, Rev J O'Dwyer, and a small staff.
'In its great work, the Home shows no distinction as to race or creed.
At the time of the jubilee there were 75 boys in residence and 30 migrant English boys were expected to take up residence before the end of 1950. The orphanage had no government or parish assistance and survived on funds raised by the local community.
Shipping records from 1952 refer to the institution as the 'Murray Dwyer Memorial Orphanage, Mayfield'.
In the early 1960s the congregate accommodation at the Mayfield Home closed and the service was relocated and renamed the Murray Dwyer Group Homes under the direction of Centacare Newcastle. The service closed in 1979.
Murray-Dwyer Boys' Home records are managed by CatholicCare Hunter-Manning Social Services. This agency has developed a database which lists the name of the child in care, their date of admission and discharge, and a cross reference to the surviving original records.
CatholicCare Hunter-Manning Social Services holds many files and photographs of and about children cared for in orphanages and homes throughout the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. CatholicCare recognises the importance of the files they hold to those who have been in 'care'. There is no charge for the search and retrieval of records or for copying and postage.
All requests for access/information should be directed to CatholicCare Hunter-Manning, Head Office:
841 Hunter Street, Newcastle West NSW 2300
PO Box 775, Newcastle NSW 2300
Phone: (02) 4979 1120
Fax: (02) 4979 1131
18 May 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00118
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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