This website is dedicated to over 2000 boys who passed through St. John’s Orphanage Goulburn from 1912 till its closing in 1978. The site also acknowledges the tremendous care and dedication by the Sisters of Mercy that took on the roll of parents, educators, nurses and administrators in their endeavors to provide a certain quality of life. A life that otherwise would not have been available to the many needy boys.
In 1975, due to declining numbers, the home took in a small number of girls from St. Joseph’s Girls Home in North Goulburn. The Boy’s Home was closed in 1978. However, the few boys and girls who were left were transferred to cottages which were adjacent to St. John’s and care continued with the Sisters of Mercy until final closure in 1981.
It is with great spirit and enthusiasm that this website is launched and it is hoped that former boys and girls with their families will make an endeavour to renew their contact with their childhood mates.
Way back in 1950 Mark was a winner of the
trophy. But, as a boy in St John’s Orphanage, if you won a
trophy then it stayed in St. Johns. When the orphanage closed in
the 1970’s it was feared all memorabilia was lost. And, sadly in
most cases it has been. Just recently prior to a reunion in Young
and with the good grace of the Sisters we were able to obtain
some of these trophies that have been “held in trust” in
Mark was a very accomplished boxer winning many fights in
the region while at St John’s and started to develop a reputation
as a very keen hard hitting boxer. On leaving St John’s he ended
up in Sydney where he started training again. This move of
fighting in the “big smoke” eventually got him selection on the
Melbourne Olympic Boxing Team as a reserve.
Mark is overjoyed and quietly … Read More »
Article was published in the Nepean News (Issue 126) on Thursday 12 June 2014
Sadly, Sister Madeleine passed away peacefully in her sleep at 8.30PM on Sunday 16th June. Sister was 110 years of age.
Her funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church in Young on Monday 24th June at 10.30AM
A POEM FOR SISTER MADELEINE
“Here’s to a Sister, a beautiful lady too
Who means so much to us all
Who puts the welcome mat at the door
For us when we choose to call
She has a keen interest in what we say
Loves to know all that we do
Though it seems 110 can be very old
You’re one that’s young at heart
And while you have lead a busy life
In our lives too you played a part
You were always the one who cared for us
You’re witty and warm and so wise
You watched us, the whole St John’s crew
Success or failure you saw us through
You picked us up when we had a fall
In fact you’re the best Sister of all
So today we are wishing you
A birthday that’s the happiest yet
With cake and candle and don’t forget
Those who care for you all gathered around
To say that in life … Read More »
BRUCE CAMPBELL’S TIME AT ST JOHN’S ORPHANAGE
I was eight years old when I went to the Orphanage. It was in September 1938 when my mother was forced to send me and my two brothers Don and Colin there. We were too much for her, the final straw was breaking windows in the Parish Hall using catapults. We stayed at the Orphanage until war ceased in 1945.
Mother Superior at St Johns was Sister Ligouri. A very nice lady. Other teachers were Sister Genevieve who taught the infants, she also taught drama and music to all the pupils. Sister Madeleine taught me for two years. I had to repeat sixth grade as I was too young to go to High School. I remember doing Algebra during the second year which gave me a good start … Read More »
I’m Only an Orphan Lad
I often look back on my childhood
My parents put me away in an orphanage
To me it felt like a cage
They left me feeling angry, sad and alone
I often tried to escape and go home
Bewildered, bitter and cold to the bone
And wondered, if I was good or bad
For I had become an orphan lad
There were times when I would shout and yell
It could be no worse in “hell”
Rudely awakened at every dawn
Still feeling forgotten and forlorn
Told to get dressed and fall into line
To do as I was told and I’d be fine
I would be given many a task to do
Wash that floor, clean that loo
I’d march to the sound of a bell
Then stand back in line, half asleep
Still feeling cold, I’d quietly weep
With a “clip of the ear”, told … Read More »
Reunions have been held several times over many years. Gatherings in parks and clubs have provided an opportunity for old friends to catch up and renew acquaintances. Sister Genevieve was a great supporting of inviting back old boys to St. Johns during her long posting at the home.
Attached are some photos of reunions held over recent years. This site will aim to broadcast pending events such as reunions however large or small.
If you have any photos of past reunions and wish to provide them we would be pleased to hear from you.