Rathgar was the first children's home established by the United Protestant Association. It was opened at Grafton in 1941. By 1923 it held 23 children. When Rathmore, next door, was added by the United Protestant Association the capacity of the two homes reached a peak of 55 children. The home was for boys and girls at first, but was converted to a girls' home in 1947. Rathmore was converted to offices in 1948. Rathgar closed in 1983.
Initially in poor repair, Rathgar home was refurbished by volunteers who, despite wartime shortages of materials and labour, had the home ready for opening by 15 March 1941. By 1942 Rathgar was full to capacity with 23 children, so Rathmore, next door, was bought and refurbished to provide accommodation for 12 infants under the age of seven.
By 1944 there were 55 children in Rathgar and Rathmore, but wartime rationing was still in effect. The homes grew most their own food, with the labour of the children.
Rathmore was closed as a children's home and converted to offices for the UPA's Clarence District Office in 1948.
Sources used to compile this entry: Agst, Thomas Urich [with Robert J Martin], The UPA Story, United Protestant Association of NSW Ltd, Wahroonga, n.d., 67 pp; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 22 March 2011, Last modified: 30 August 2013