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From: Ebony
To: Jan
Subject: Abbotsford children’s home

Hello,

I am wondering if there is any chance of you having information on Abbotsford childrens home. I know it has now turned into a B&B but I was hoping you may have things on the history of the place as I cannot find it anywhere. If you don’t have any, is there any chance of you knowing someone who may?

My dad and all his siblings grew up there and I am wanting to learn more about the home as it has had a huge impact on my upbringing and also all the memories for my family :)

thank you in advance

Ebony


From: Jan
To: Ebony
Subject: Abbotsford children’s home

Hi Ebony,
I don't know a huge amount about Abbotsford Childrens Home - although I have heard a few stories from my mum and sisters have about some of the kids who lived there and went to school at Waipawa during their time at high school.

I have also had a couple of other people email me about Abbotsford who also had parents who lived there for a while.

Anyway this is a little bit of the history....

Abbotsford home was opened officially on the 10th February 1926. The Lissie Rathbone Estate made available funding for its establishment.

The home was originally intended to take those children who were born at St Mary's Home, Napier, and to care for orphan children in the Diocese.
Later the function was expanded to take care of children from broken homes.
Sister Elsie Smith was the first matron (1926-1928), followed by Alice Jones(1928-36), Miss Thomas (1936-37), Mrs Williams (1937-40), Miss L Johnston (1940 - 61), Mr & Mrs F.L. Flemming (1961-71), Mr & Mrs Palmer (1971), Mr & Mrs S.G. Reddy (1971-1986)

Abbotsford home closed as a childrens home in 1986.

But when we moved to Waipawa in the 1990's it was being used as a family centre where families went and lived together for a few months with other families and tutors for guidance and support.

I'm sorry I can't tell you too much more - it seems that orphanages and children's homes are not written up about too much. Its often a very sensitive and sometimes painful subject.

Hope this helps you a little.
:-) Jan


From: Jan
To: Ebony
Subject: Abbotsford children’s home

Hi Again Ebony,

Its not often I send 2 emails in such quick succession but I just went next door for a cup of tea with mum and asked her if she knew where there was any information about Abbotsford children's home and she told me there was a good section of it written up by a former child who lived at Abbotsford in the history of St Peters Church, Waipawa book.

I had a quick look at it and there is a run down of events and happenings at the home right through from the opening through to it closing. Obviously for privacy reasons children's names aren't mentioned but they do have things like picnics, reactions to the Napier earthquake, special visits etc and a few photos. Its set out in chronological order so if you are interested you could find out a little of the 'events' at the home for the relevant years.

If you're interested in buying a book I could hunt one down for you from the church as I'm fairly certain they still have one or two. ($10)

I'm actually off on holiday shortly (in about an hour and half) for 3 weeks so will be out of email range but if you are interested you can email back to this address and my husband (who's staying home to look after the animals) can organise getting one to you.

Otherwise when I get back I will try to get some info to you then.

:-) Jan


From: Ebony
To: Jan
Subject: Abbotsford children’s home

Hi Jan

Thank you very much for that info :)
I will definatly look into getting one of those books.
I am also going away but I will get in contact when I get home :)

thank you again,

Ebony


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