St. John's Orphanage
St. John's Orphanage in 2015
, sometimes referred to as the Goulburn Boys Orphanage
, is a decommissioned orphanage
located on Mundy Street in Goulburn
, a town located in New South Wales
. The architect of the building is EC Manfred
. The foundation stone was laid and blessed on 17 March 1912 by Bishop John Gallagher
of Goulburn, who also blessed the building during its opening ceremony in late 1913. It is two storeys
high, and several extensions were added to the building throughout its early history. The orphanage amalgamated with St. Joseph's Orphanage for girls in 1976, and the remaining orphans were placed into group homes. As a result, the orphanage was closed in 1978 and rented out to the Youth with a Mission
Base until they left in 1994. Since then, the orphanage has remained abandoned.
Run by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church
until its closure, the orphanage housed males from the ages of 5 to 16 initially. Its capacity was intended to be 100 children, but this peaked to more than 200 during the Second World War
. By the 1970s, the orphanage began taking in female orphans from St. Joseph's because of declining numbers of males. Until its closure, the orphanage took in more than 2,500 individuals for various reasons. Only four per cent of those who stayed there were actually orphans. The orphanage's residents were given a religious education, and were trained in agriculture. Accounts by former residents state that they suffered severe beatings and punishments, and that they were issued a single set of clothing that was rarely washed. Another claims that some residents endured sexual abuse and rape, not only by the staff, but by older boys, and the caretaker. However, others state that the nuns were tough but fair and remained in contact with them. (Full article...