The Church of England Hostel for Inland Children was opened by Father Percy Smith in a private house at Kensington Park in 1945. Operated by the Church of England as a training home for Aboriginal boys, it initially accommodated six boys from Alice Springs aged between 9 and 12 years. They attended the Marryatville Primary School. In 1946 the Hostel closed. It was replaced by St Francis House at Semaphore.
The Church of England Hostel for Inland Children began in a private house at 13 Pembroke Street, Kensington Park in January 1945. It was given this official name in September 1945 when it was approved as an institution for the purposes of receiving child endowment payments. The Home was begun by Father Percy Smith, an Anglican minister who founded the St John's Hostel in Alice Springs, as a step towards his idea of developing a training home for Aboriginal boys near Adelaide. A church member, Miss Florence Murphy, offered the house for rent for this purpose. In late 1944 Father Smith wrote to the Director of Native Affairs describing his plans:
A small house at Kensington Park, Adelaide, has been offered to me for the purpose of opening a home for half-caste boys from Alice Springs. With the consent of the Bishop of Adelaide I intend to open this home in the name of the Church of England. It will accommodate six boys who will go as an advance party to inaugurate my scheme for a training centre for this type of boy. Later on I hope to secure larger premises further away from Adelaide and take boys and girls. My idea is to be in easy reach of technical facilities for their training. The house at Kensington Park will be rented to me for £3 per week and the approximated cost for maintenance for each child would be £1 per week. If the Native Affairs Department could help me with these fees, I would be able to commence this scheme at the beginning of next year.
Initially six Aboriginal boys from Alice Springs aged between 9 and 12 years were chosen to be placed at this home so that they could attend school. The boys slept in a six bed sleep-out attached to the back of the house and were enrolled at the Marryatville Primary School. The boys were cared for by Father Smith and his wife. The Northern Territory Administration agreed to the payment of a subsidy of 15 shillings per child to assist with maintaining the boys in the Home. The institutions also received child endowment payments for each child.
In 1946, after the Australian Board of Missions assisted with the purchase of Glanville Hall at Semaphore, the Kensington Park Hostel closed and the boys were moved to the new Home which later became known as St Francis House.
1945 - 1946 Church of England Hostel for Inland Children
1946 - c. 1961 St Francis House
Sources used to compile this entry: 'St. Francis' House, Semaphore', Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs), 2 February 1951, p. 7, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/59840102; NAA: A452, 1955/508 Part 1 Australian Board of Missions - Technical training of half-castes (boys) at St Francis House, Semaphore, South Australia 1946-1953.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 13 February 2013, Last modified: 5 December 2017