by Oliver Cosgrove (guest author) on 23 March, 2011
Below is a copy of the report on the visit, in July 1948, to Castledare Junior Orphanage, WA, by the Secretary of the Child Welfare Department, State Migration Officer and two inspectors also from the Child Welfare Department.
Oliver Cosgrove kindly made this report available to the National Museum. He notes:
Castledare was the junior orphanage in the so-called ‘quadrangular scheme’ of the Christian Brothers.
It is singularly worth noting that this report was issued in July 1948, less than 10 months after the first post-war child migrants arrived on the SS Asturias.
I cannot but wonder at the perspicacity of the writer’s last sentence.
Consider the following observations in the report:
dingy sleeping cubicles
floors stained under beds by urine
salty crusts of dried urine under beds
wire mattresses rusted by urine
sagging beds and mattresses
miserably thin mattresses (ex US forces) and totally inadequate
pyjamas grubby, dirty, and damp with urine
good sized wardrobe lockers – an asset to the institution – but not used
hot-water system not working in shower
recreation hall only place that could provide warmth
Click on the link to download a copy of the report: