Forgotten Australians, memories, photography

Lost people #1

by Cath on 28 June, 2010

There are plenty of photos and narratives of children’s homes on the web. And often one post sparks many other connections – memories, but also appeals to help find a lost friend or relation.

St John’s Orphanage, Goulburn. Photograph posted to ABC Pool by Rossco

There were two orphanages in Goulburn – St Joseph’s Girls’ Home (1906) and St John’s Boys’ Orphanage (1912). Rossco called this image St Joseph’s, but a commenter on the Pool site is sure that it’s St John’s.

In trying to verify, I came upon another photograph of the same building, taken and posted by Danman. The introduction to his photo is followed by a long string of comments, some of which are from people with direct experience of the place, or whose family recall being there. In the 54 comments, there are some amazing threads.

Curiously, the confusion about whether this is St Joseph’s for girls or St John’s for boys recurs there. Danman doesn’t name the orphanage, but says that his mother attended for a time. A commenter claims that that can’t be true, since it is the boys’ orphanage. Maybe it is St John’s for boys, but for some reason she went there anyway. We know from Warren Porter that an institution might take in a child of the opposite sex.

12 thoughts on “Lost people #1”

  1. Pingback: Lost people #2
  2. this photograph is definitely of st john’s boys orphanage in munday st goulburn there is no doubt. we know this because my husband live there for almost 10 years of his young life and we know lots of others it will be 100 years old on march 17 2012 and we are organising morning tea and a day to reminisce about the good old bad old days we can be contacted by email should you be interested cheers lindsay and maria

  3. I would just like to say about the Lost people #1 , I agree with what has been said !! Ive been to the orphange my self, An it is St Johns 1912 .. I would really really like to no more about what happend behind them bars ! I like to see old places an that have a meaning behind it ! I would like to learn more about what use to happen in a orphange .. I like the look of the orphange but its a little scary ..

  4. I would be interested in making contact with lindsay and maria chesworth, my Grandfather and Great Uncle were twins at the orphanage for quite a few years and perhaps Lindsay & Maria may be able to shed some light on connections of how people came to be placed and when they left??

  5. Hi,

    Me and my brother were in this orphanage which is St. John’s and my sister was at St. Josephs in Kenmore. Later I believe some time in the 70’s, that this became a home for both boys and girls.
    My quick description of this place –
    You walked through the front doors for the first time, and everything you had, clothes favorite toys, family, love etc, you lost for the rest of your life. Inside this place you were no one. There was abuse etc. You were always hungry, cold and frightened. I went from being a quiet child to fighting to survive, my brother was younger and not as strong, though these days he is opposite.
    When asked about this place, I reply ” Read Oliver Twist”

    These days, for myself, life is good, but it was a long journey to get here 🙂

  6. This Place is St Johns Orphanage Boys only when i was there,I went in at 6 years old in 1958,till 1962.TheNuns who run this place were the Sisters of Mercy.You had a community bath once a week,no shoes and the same clothes for at least a week,no love or caring,just Punishment.Regards Michael.

  7. This is St Johns Orphanage 1905 to 1976
    The founding stone reads 1912 but that was the ceremony rather than the actual opening date.
    In the beginning thee were both boys and girls at this Foundling Orphanage run by the Sisters of mercy. When the girls orphanage in kenmore was opened in 1906 some of the girls began moving down to St Josephs which was an all girls foundling orphanage but girls remained at St Johns until around 1912

    In the 1970’s as the Orphanages were closing once again girls were brought up to the boys orphanage and from time to time girls were still housed at St Johns when needed.
    No boys wee ever housed at St Josephs however. . (the girls orphanage in kenmore)

  8. Thanks Louise,
    Thank you for this history. This is important information.

    Thank you for taking the time to provide it. Greatly appreciated.

  9. Hi; Adele,

    Forgotten Australians are courageous people for telling what they experienced as a child in Government State Care.
    Pre 80s there wasnt human rights for children, children had to do what they were told seen and not heard no matter what. Back answering and talking in those days was conidered as naughtyness, not only in orphanages but society particually schools.
    Our school teacher banged childrens heads together for not understanding sums and caned for talking. The same teacher rediculied a boy that was having a asmer attack accusing him of prending the asma attack, the boy ran home to his mother & his mother returned to the school blasting the teacher for accusing the boy of faking the asma attack.
    Teachers blasted pupils for failing subjets and the cane in the headmasters hand on parade when checking to see if our uniform skirts wernt the right length & if not wacked on the legs & sent home and caned over the hand in those days.
    In the orphanage we were caned if we talked, wet the bed or disobeyed their authority.
    Majority of children did obey authority but the ones that didnt were classified as naughty, over 13 yrs of age rebellious.

    I beiieve F.As were in a systems of abuse, nuns/carers just following policies of that day, hence F.As psychological damages from being in a systems of abuse policies executed by nuns/ carers tyrannical authority. Pedophiles raping children was crinimal and nuns shoving children in the pitch black dungeon giving them bread water telling them they were the devil was not government policies but indivuals breaking the Law.

    Children that were thinkers with GOD given guts who saw it wasnt right nuns draging children by the hair wacking them in the bath because they moved or for crying and stood up to them, was a no no. Children that ran away from a system of abuse and for the feeling of freedom, stole yummy lollies from shops, stood up to nuns tyrannical authority[ defience] were classified as naughty and rebellous. Those children were placed into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment. My sister was one of the brave children that stood up to nuns tyrannical authority, she said to me the nuns couldnt break her sprit but the government got her at the end when she was dumped into an adult mental asylum at 13 yrs of age for adolescent rebellion and what they deemed as behaviour.

    What I find to be classified as crimes against humanity to children placed by the S.C Department into the asylums for rebellion , them aproving electric shock treatment [what for] to “cure rebellion and bad behaviour”[??], placed in straight jackets drugged worse than zombies, and all sorts of other experiments carried out on them. These children were of normal intellegence but rebelled to tyrannical authority some one had to.
    Question, why was it allowed , what was the REAL REASONS behind all of this? and was it legal?. What F.As went through in the asylums was 100% worse than in the orphanages apart from children sodomized by dirty filthy pedophile priests.
    I wonder if the medical records from doctors still exist or was the evidence destroyed due to 50 yrs passed. Also causes of deaths on death certificates in the asylums.

  10. As has been said this is St Johns in Goulburn NSW. A beautiful old building with a very sad history. I would love to see someone write a book about this place and the atrocities the children endured. We owe it to the survivors never to forget.

  11. Hi: Adele,

    There is a possibality that Australian Psychiatrist P. knew of the murders that took place with the Duplissis Orphans Quebec. P. is widly recognised as the father of early intervention in psychosis and promoter of spurious concept of psychosis risk sydrome, which he credits to the notorious E. was a Canadian Psychiatrist who tortured and maimed unwitting victims at Mc Gill Universitys Allan Memorial Institute in the 50s and 60s in experiements with drugs, electric shock and lobotomies, with some of his work funded under the U.S Central Intelligence Agencys mind control program MK ULTRA.
    P was also responsible for creating a new market for the Pharmaceutical Industry by broadly promotingthe concept of “Psychosis Risk Syndrome “{PRS] — essentially drugging people based on the “possibility of a future problem!

    This so called “Psychiatric Break through ” is very simular to the A.D.H.D. scam which these people also engineered [ no doubt with the funding of the Pharmaceutical Companies] due to growing pains and behavioural ways which children display whilst growing up! Both of these so called “Psychiatric Discoveries” have together netted the Pharmeceutical Companies who make the “Corresponding “helpful drugs to give these people , BILLIONS , not millions of DOLLARS each year.
    One is left to question just how much of Canadian Psychiatrist E,s experiments went on in Australia , especially with his collegue Psychiatrist H. working at Chelmised Hospital Sydney which was closed down because of so many deaths from his experiements, and how many Forgotten Australians may of been used in these experiments?
    It causes me to wonder if Psychiatrist H. was silenced so as not to divulge this sort of information. These people are masters at lying and perverting the truth also in my opion . Its quite interestig also that over 95% of these psychiatrists are Atheists I bet.

    Many in our Government, Australian Medical Assosation and CEOS must know the history of using orphans in medical experiements , as many went missing I read some where.
    The question is, how come police didnt investigate the missing orphans?, perhaps they may of been told not too as it may of been part of government sanctoned medical experiements, like E. experiements in Quebec with the Duplissis Orphans.
    I wonder how many psychiatrists were in league with Psychiatrist H. and his experemients with deep sleep therapy , electric shock treatment and drugging all of which was happening at Goodna–considence ?, I think not.

    Perhaps the word sorry in the apology speech [ thankyou] on the 24/3/10 Brisbane Parliament to Forgotten Australians was just a convient word, as no compensation was offered. If they were turely sorry they would want to compensate those Forgotten Australians placed as children into adult mental asylums where the crinimally insane were housed with all sorts of excuses to be experiemented on. F.As placed in those asylums didnt have mental problems but were placed there as a form of punishment.
    What I find most evil, tortuous and cruel, is to give electric shock treatment for adolescent rebellion to nuns/carers tyrannical authority.

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