Orphanage survivors

Orphanage Survivors: A True Story of St John’s, Thurgoona, by Howard Jones deals with a Sisters of Mercy orphanage near Albury that existed from 1882 to 1978. The book includes a chapter Stolen from Britain, about a group of 22 girl migrants who were sent to this orphanage in 1950. The book is based largely on interviews with the former female residents.

More information about this new publication and the transport vessel SS Asturias may be found via this weblink.

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8 responses to “Orphanage survivors”

  1. could you please let me know if jean o rafferty and molly o rafferty were at this orphanage

  2. hi howard,
    where can i obtain your book. my mother and her 2 sisters were put in the orphanage at a young age . one of the sisters died there . we are trying to search how my mother has a diffferent name to the one on her birth certificate. their surname was obrien.
    thanks
    freda

  3. i was there at thurgoona with my sister cheryl

  4. I am familiar with the home in Thurgoona near Albury It was I think in 1963 I visited the place a few times to drop off some clothes . I was stuck and sadden by the haunting and sad faces of the girls and even when I tried to make conversation I was pulled away and told off by the local priest for attempting to get to close as if I would catch some disease It was only 4 yrs earlier I was in the same situation. How hard a heart can society be to let such vulnerable young children in a situation of despair . I will never forget the looks on those children faces . This is what keeps me going !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi Howard,
    I see you are trying to track down the book of all girls listed, I would be interested if you are able to locate this.
    By the way, I thought your book was done with a great deal of compassion. I visited there a few weeks back, see its being revamped/torn down and redone in parts, however I see the swings are still there like sentinels almost. Strange, how eary after all this time, its still feels the same as the day I left it. I guess some memories of feelings never quite leave you.
    Thanks
    Jennifer.

  6. Jo, There’s a Rule family in the 060 phone book at Thurgoona, Albury. You might try them.
    As a follow-up to my book, Orphanage Survivors, I’m starting a data base of former St John’s Orphanage girls, just the names and dates when they were there, and will include your friend on it. The Sisters of Mercy had an entry book listing every child and I’m trying to locate that.

  7. I am trying to find a friend from infants/primary school in Wagga Wagga who went to the Sisters of Mercy Orphange in about 1962. Her name then was Margaret Rule and she had 2 younger siblings, brothers I think. I have tried throughout the years to try and find her again without success, was wondering if anyone knows of her whereabouts.
    Thankyou.


... a project to document and commemorate stories of Australians who as children experienced institutional care