The property in Ebden Avenue, Black Rock, was donated to Melbourne City Mission by businessman WV Manton. (Manton also donated a property to Sydney City Mission in New South Wales, which became another holiday home called the Cronulla Children's Home.)
Happy Days was located near to the beach and the tram terminus. The children slept in one large dormitory.
Children who went to Happy Days were usually aged between 6 and 12, and were sent in groups of 10. The groups stayed for around 10 to 12 days, allowing the Matron and her assistant to have a short break between arrivals. The children's parents attended the Melbourne City Mission halls, which were located in Brunswick, Carlton, Collingwood, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Richmond. The groups of children usually all came from the same location, and generally were all boys or all girls. Some children went to Happy Days from the Royal Park Depot.
In December 1937, in the midst of an outbreak of poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis), Happy Days was closed. It reopened as an 'after-care home' for children recovering from the disease.
In around 1939, Cottage By The Sea had to relocate from Queenscliff when its property was taken over by the Department of Defence to be used as a military hospital. The Ministering Children's League rented the Happy Days Black Rock until the Queenscliff cottage was returned to the League in 1943.
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08 June 2021
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E001098
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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