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
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.