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Organisation Clarendon Children's Home (1923 - 2006)
- Anglican, Approved Children's Home, Care Provider, Children's Home, Cottage Care, Protestant and Stolen Generations
- Alternative Names
- Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy
- Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy and Babies' Home
Clarendon Children's Home opened in 1923 on the New Town site of the Home of Mercy, a rescue and maternity home that also took in babies. The purpose of the new Home was to 'care' for children aged over 3 who the Committee considered too old to remain in the Home of Mercy. A committee from the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania ran both institutions. In 1945, Clarendon moved to Mount Royal at Kingston Beach. It closed on 22 December 2006.
A donation from Mrs JF Walker of Clarendon at Gretna funded the building of the original Clarendon Children's Home at New Town. It accommodated up to 50 children. They attended the local school and took part in other community activities such Brownies or Girl Guides and singing in the St John's Church choir.
In 1941, following a bequest from Elizabeth Rose, a new wing opened, comprising bathrooms, dressing rooms, and a large dormitory. At the same time, the Home was completely renovated with new paintwork, curtains, wash basins, and beds.
In 1945, the Clarendon Committee purchased Mount Royal, a guest house with 35 rooms set on 20 acres that overlooked Kingston Beach.The children moved there in September and the Bishop blessed it on 5 October 1945. The Home took in boys aged 3 to 6 and girls aged 3 to 16.
After the move, the youngest children attended kindergarden in Kingston while those aged between 6 and 11 went to Kingston or Albuera Street Primary Schools.
In 1948, work began on a cottage known as St Nicholas on the grounds of Mount Royal. It opened in 1953. The cottage was partially funded by the sale of the Home of Mercy in New Town. On 9 November 1958, the Home of Mercy Cottage for babies and toddlers opened. After that the Home was often referred to as the Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy. Later the Home took babies rather than toddlers and it became known as the Home of Mercy and Babies' Home.
Financially, Mount Royal appears to have struggled. It received a grant from the Tasmanian government and the Commonwealth child endowment. There was practical and fundraising support from the women's auxiliary formed in 1948. The Canterbury Tea Rooms run in Church House, Hobart by Anglican women, also provided some funds. However, this was not enough and the Home nearly closed in 1959. It was temporarily saved by an increase in the grant received from the Tasmanian government, some legacies, and the sound financial management of the then Secretary and Treasurer, Canon George Crouch. This improvement did not last and there were further crises.
In 1949, the Board of the Home asked the Director of Public Health for some advice from the Department's nutritionist about the children's diet. Her report provides some insights into routines at the Home and the food the children ate.
The Home had a cook. She had some help from a young kitchen maid and waitress. After school, the older girls prepared the vegetables and packed lunches for the next day. On Sundays, the Matron took over the cooking with the help of the older girls.
The Home produced much of its own food. There was a large vegetable patch that supplied all the vegetables except potatoes. Chickens produced up to 40 eggs a day when they were laying, and a couple of cows provided nearly all the milk the children needed. There was also apples, apricots, plums, pears, and a few berry fruits.
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal or cereal with bread and butter three times a week and bread and dripping the rest of the time. The children at school in Kingston went home for a cooked lunch, consisting of meat or fish, potatoes, and I or 2 other vegetables. Dessert was usually a milk pudding or a steam pudding with custard. Occasionally the children had an apple pie or sponge. The older children had the same meal at night while the younger ones had a lighter meal of carrot, raisin or marmite sandwiches, or bread and butter with honey or jam.
According to Laura Williams, in the early 1950s, Mount Royal was an unhappy place for the children. There was a rapid turnover of Matrons, 6 in 6 years. A report made by a recently dismissed Matron in 1953 stated that corporal punishment was widely used. The children were inadequately clothed and in poor health. They ate separately from the staff and had different food. They either 'ran wildly through the house or sat quietly rocking'.
Clarendon was the first home in Tasmania to be approved for child migrants and the only one to take girls. It received 5 British child migrants, aged between 3 and 13, in 1950. They lived in St Nicholas. Clarendon's full quota of migrant children was 12 per year but although more came, the Home hardly ever reached this number. This may have been because it mostly offered institutional care and in Britain the preference was for cottage accommodation. In 1951, John Moss, a British delegate inspecting insitutions for child migrants in Australia, said that Clarendon was 'not up to standard' and that other children would be better off left in Britain. In 1954, in order to boost numbers, the Home accepted children under the parent following scheme.The last child migrant left Clarendon in 1960. By then there had been 18, 7 of whom rejoined their parents when they arrived and one of whom was adopted.
The Friends of Clarendon formed in 1958 to support the girls when they left the Home.
The numbers of children in Clarendon fell as the emphasis in child welfare policy moved from child removal to better support for families. 'Caring' for children in big institutions also lost favour. Upton, the Secretary of the Clarendon Board in 1976 described Mount Royal as 'too big, too difficult and expensive to heat, needs too many staff, and worst of all it's an institution, not a home, for the children that live there'. This change in attitude led the Board to begin investigating a cottage style accommodation for boys and girls that would simulate family life. It reached fruition in 1978 with the opening of two new cottages, one named Fletcher Walker, and the other, de Bavay after Clarendon's architect. Two more opened in 1981. Each cottage had a house 'mother'.
By 1990, Clarendon no longer provided long term 'care' for children. Instead the aim was to keep the family together wherever possible. In 1997, Clarendon received funds from the Sydney Myer and Ian Potter Trusts to run a pilot early intervention program known as Reconnections. The aim was to keep families together so that children did not come into 'care'. Funding came to an end in 1999 so the program had to be wound up.
When Clarendon closed, funds from the sale of its Kingston Beach property were reinvested to form Clarendon Children which offers early intervention programs for families. In 2013, Clarendon Children holds the records of Clarendon Children's Home.
The Report of the Stolen Generations Assessor of 2008 mentions Clarendon Children's Home.
- 1923 - 1945
- Clarendon Children's Home situated at New Town. Location: New Town
- 1945 - 2006
- Clarendon Children's Home situated at Kingston. Location: Kingston
1923 - 2006 Clarendon Children's Home
2006 - Clarendon Children
- Boyce, James, For the record: background information on the work of the Anglican Church with Aboriginal children and directory of Anglican agencies providing residential care to children from 1830 to 1980, Anglicare Australia, Melbourne, 2003. Details
- Stephens, Geoffrey, Clarendon: a century of care, Board of Clarendon Home, Hobart, 1990, 66 pp. Details
- Williams, Laura, 'Good British stock: British child migration to Tasmania after 1945', Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, 1995/6, pp. 155-177. Details
- 'Our Homes', Church News, March 1949, p. 13. Details
- 'Children learn the art of community living', The Mercury, 14 December 1950. Details
- Geoffrey Cranswick, 'Clarendon Home', Church News, November 1945, p. 8. Details
- Annual reports, Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy, These annual reports are in the National Library of Australia, Canberra, Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy, Hobart, 1900-1975. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13934972. Details
- Annual reports, Clarendon Children's Homes, These annual reports are in the National Library of Australia, Canberra, Clarendon Children's Home, Hobart, 1976-2004. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13935561. Details
- Ombudsman Tasmania, Listen to the children: Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children, Office of the Ombudsman, Tasmania, Hobart, November 2004. Details
- 'Violet Day in Hobart', The Mercury, 21 August 1920, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11487979. Details
- 'Children's Home - Violet Day Appeal - Successful Result', The Mercury, 1 September 1923, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23700297. Details
- 'Happy Children: Clarendon Home's Work', The Mercury, This is an illustrated article which has a picture captioned 'Carefree Wards at Play', 23 August 1939, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25628433. Details
- 'Children at Clarendon Home', The Mercury, This article includes an image of children playing in an old tram-car. The caption reads: 'An old tram-car provides an ideal games house for these happy children in the playground of the Clarendon Children's Home, New Town. This home, which for nearly 30 years has been caring for homeless children, is a diocesan one, and is conducted by the Church of England'., 13 August 1940, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25818608. Details
- 'New Clarendon Home Opened at Kingston', The Mercury, 6 October 1945, p. 8, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticleJpg/26154898/3?print=n. Details
- 'After-School Activity at Kingston Home', The Mercury, This is an illustrated article which includes pictures of children and staff., 4 August 1950, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26719379. Details
- 'Tasmania their home now: young migrants take arrival calmly', The Mercury, 4 August 1950, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26719393. Details
- 'New Curtains for Home Dormitory', The Mercury, 16 July 1951, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27036581. Details
- 'Wants families to aid child migrants', The Mercury, 26 September 1951, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27058881. Details
- 'Little maids had proud moments', The Mercury, 18 May 1953, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27168636. Details
- 'Mutual Trust', The Mercury, This is an illustrated article about Clarendon Children's Home, with pictures of buildings and people, 26 May 1953, p. 12, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27162883. Details
- 'Child migration would pay dividends', The Mercury, 18 May 1953, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27168678. Details
- Report of the Stolen Generations Assessor, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Tasmania, 2008, http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/53770/Stolen_Generations_Assessor_final_report.pdf. Details
- Joint Select Committee, Parliament of Tasmania, Adoption and Related Services 1950-1988, 1999, http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/Ctee/reports/adopt.pdf. p.18. Details
- Rimon, Wendy, 'Children's homes', in The companion to Tasmanian history, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2005, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/C/Children%27s%20Homes.htm. Details
- Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, Parliament of Australia, Lost innocents: righting the record - report on child migration, Commonwealth of Australia, 30 August 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm. Details
- Clarendon Children's Home, Mount Royal, Kingston Beach
- St Nicholas Cottage accommodates 12 children
- c. 1953
- Care Leavers of Australia Network
Sources used to compile this entry: Annual reports, Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy, These annual reports are in the National Library of Australia, Canberra, Clarendon Children's Home and Home of Mercy, Hobart, 1900-1975. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13934972; 'Violet Day in Hobart', The Mercury, 21 August 1920, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11487979; 'Children's Home - Violet Day Appeal - Successful Result', The Mercury, 1 September 1923, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23700297; 'New Clarendon Home Opened at Kingston', The Mercury, 6 October 1945, p. 8, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticleJpg/26154898/3?print=n; 'Our Homes', Church News, March 1949, p. 13; 'Child migration would pay dividends', The Mercury, 18 May 1953, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27168678; Report of the Stolen Generations Assessor, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Tasmania, 2008, http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/53770/Stolen_Generations_Assessor_final_report.pdf; Boyce, James, For the record: background information on the work of the Anglican Church with Aboriginal children and directory of Anglican agencies providing residential care to children from 1830 to 1980, Anglicare Australia, Melbourne, 2003; Geoffrey Cranswick, 'Clarendon Home', Church News, November 1945, p. 8; Ombudsman Tasmania, Listen to the children: Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children, Office of the Ombudsman, Tasmania, Hobart, November 2004; Stephens, Geoffrey, Clarendon: a century of care, Board of Clarendon Home, Hobart, 1990, 66 pp; Williams, Laura, 'Good British stock: British child migration to Tasmania after 1945', Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, 1995/6, pp. 155-177.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 12 January 2011, Last modified: 14 May 2013