The Halloween Children's Home, on Redmyre Road, Strathfield, was set up around 1926 by a private committee. It appears to have been a girls' home but may have taken boys. In the mid-1930s state wards were sent to Halloween Children's Home. It closed around the late 1930s.
The Halloween Children's Home was located in a house called Halloween, at 69 Redmyre Road, Strathfield. It was set up by a private committee and was initially planned to be opened in May 1925, but was officially opened by former Australian Prime Minister WM Hughes and his wife Dame Mary on Saturday 16 October 1926.
Halloween Children's Home had regular garden fetes to raise funds in the 1920s, and was supported by local businesses and citizens, including the grocers Messrs Matthews Thompson and Company and Mrs WK Arnott, the wife of the founder of Arnott's Biscuits, who held bridge parties in her home on Wakeford Road.
Monica Clare, an Aboriginal woman who later became an activist, was removed from her father as 'neglected' when her mother died in childbirth and made a state ward. Her Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, written by Jack Horner, records that Monica and brother were fostered to a happy foster home on the Hawkesbury, after spending time at what Horner calls 'Yasmar home for infants at Haberfield'. When Monica reached the age of 11 the siblings were separated and Monica was sent to Redmyre Road Children's Home (Halloween) to be trained in domestic service while her brother was sent to a boys' training farm. She never saw her brother again. Horner said the racial taunts of pupils and staff at Monica Clare's school made her determined to excel at study.
The house Halloween was later owned by Strathfield Council and used as the Town Clerk's residence. It was sold in 1961.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Strathfield Children's Home', The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 March 1925, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16203715; 'Strathfield Home for Children', The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 October 1926, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16334638; 'Near and Far', The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 1928, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16449571; 'Staff Dances Matthews Thompson and Co', The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 1929, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16566158; History of Strathfield Council Chambers, Strathfield Council, 2007, http://www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au/council/about-strathfield/history-of-strathfield-local-government-area/history-of-strathfield-council-chambers/; "Halloween" Garden Fete at Strathfield [Image], Date: 11 November 1929; Horner, Jack, 'Clare, Mona Matilda (Monica) (1924-1973)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 1993, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/clare-mona-matilda-monica-9750.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 11 April 2012, Last modified: 30 August 2013