Former Saint John Orphanage Goulburn Holds Historic Place | Goulburn Post

news, local news, Goulburn, St John’s Orphanage, history, Phil Merigan, John Ferrara

As attention turns to possible redevelopment plans, the former Saint John’s Orphanage recalls Goulburn’s strong institutional care history. As a large population center, Goulburn had several orphanages run by religious organizations. They included the Salvation Army’s Gill Memorial Boys Home from 1936 to 1976, Saint Savior’s (Anglican) Girls Home from 1929 to 1969, Saint Joseph’s Girls Home run by the Sisters of Mercy from 1907 to 1978 and its male counterpart. – Saint John’s on Mundy Street from 1912 to 1978. READ MORE: Former Goulburn Orphanage in Saint John’s Proposes Development Goulburn crews assist with fire behind former St John orphanage Crews firefighters called to Goulburn’s St John’s Orphanage Former resident remembers St John’s There was kindness among the horror | St John’s Orphanage The first two were designed by famous Goulburn architect EC Manfred. Historian Jo Henwood previously told the Post that they were the continuation of a Clinton Street orphanage, also operated by the Sisters of Mercy from 1864 to the early 1900s. Bishop William Lanigan had purchased and renovated the former Hayes Mill at the corner of Bourke and Clinton streets for this purpose. But in 1912, Bishop John Gallagher laid the foundation stone for Saint John’s. It quickly became the home of 100 boys. A heritage assessment in the early 2000s by Eric Martin and Associates stated that Sr. Mary Benignus Bowe was placed in charge. It underwent several later additions, including a west wing and chapel in 1919, an east end and a rear room in the 1920s, a hall in 1932 and the modification and extension of the south wing in 1938. READ READ MORE: Mystery Case: Who Owned This Medical Supplies Business? Ms Henwood said life there is highly regulated. “One of the great things about Saint John’s was that the boys thought of themselves as athletes,” she told The Post. “There were chores in the morning, a mass at 7.15 am, schoolwork and sports.” Newcastle man and reunion organizer Phil Merigan lived at the orphanage from 1960 to 1969 after being placed there at the age of five. In 2014, he recalled the generosity of the people of Goulburn by donating food and clothing to the establishment. “… The nuns were tough but fair. We ate three meals a day even though we always thought we were hungry,” he said. He praised the Mother Superior, Sister Geneviève Cummins and Sister Madeleine Lawrence, with whom he and other ex-residents remained in contact until their deaths in 2002 and 2012 respectively. READ ALSO: The “bizarre” behavior of the “too stupid for words” man Some 2,500 boys went through the institution until it closed in 1978. According to Mr. Martin’s study, Youth with a Mission leased the facility from 1979 to 1994. An occasional caretaker was in place until the Catholic Church sold the building to current owner John Ferrara in 1999/2000. He got approval for a 63 unit retirement development with Peter Madew in 2004, but the project did not materialize. It was resurrected in 2012 and expanded to 76 units spread over seven stages. Again, he did not progress after breaking through the heritage hurdles. The council requested a conservation management plan for the former orphanage, which was not provided. Now Mr Ferrara has reported 450 residential apartments in a six to eight story building on the site. He did not file for a prosecutor, but told the Post he had had preliminary architectural plans drawn up and had early talks with council planners. The main structure has been nearly destroyed by fires over the years, but Mr Ferrara said he would prefer not to demolish it. READ ALSO: “You Could Die While Waiting”: A telecommunications failure puts patience to the test. However, the 2.5-hectare site is also on the market for $ 7.5 million, showcasing the approved development of 76 units and declaring the main building “to be demolished.” Council officials were due to inspect its structural stability this week following another small fire in the early hours of Tuesday. We depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism. If you can, subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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