Griffiths House opened in 1945 as a hostel for children from remote areas of Central and Northern Australia who were attending school in Alice Springs. It was run by the Methodist Inland Mission and provided accommodation for between 30 and 40 children. Griffiths House closed in 1965 when St Philips College opened.
Griffiths House opened in 1945 and provided hostel accommodation for children from remote areas of Central and Northern Australia. Most children stayed at the Home while attending school in Alice Springs. The Home was named after Reverend Harry Griffiths and his wife who worked with the Methodist Inland Mission. In 1948 the Home provided accommodation for 38 children.
Griffiths House had in fact first opened as a hostel for young men and women working for the Government or other businesses in Alice Springs. In 1941 it was temporarily used as a soldiers' club. After the War, the Methodist Inland Mission made the decision to take-over and re-open the Home as a children's hostel.
In 1964, the Northern Territory Administration reported that 21 boys and 12 girls lived at Griffiths House, 7 of whom were Aboriginal.
Griffiths House ceased to operate as a boarding hostel in 1965 when St Philips College opened. One group of boarders protested the change when they attended the annual street parade known as the Bangtail Muster. Some of their placards compared Griffiths House and St Philip's College to a gaol.
The Griffiths House building was demolished in 1984.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Popular Griffiths House Financial Success', Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs), 22 October 1948, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59648596; 'How a hostel works: Life at Griffiths House', Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs), 17 August 1951, p. 11, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59839604; Commonwealth of Australia, Northern Territory Report for 1963-1964, Canberra, 1965; Finnane, Kieran, 'A remote Australian century 'at a glance'', Alice Springs News online (Alice Springs), Book review of Walton, Storry, At the very heart: 100 years in remote Australia, Wakefield Press, Adelaide 2012, 9 November 2012, http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2012/11/09/a-remote-australian-century-at-a-glance/; Signage at Fred McKay Education Centre, St Philips College.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 24 April 2012, Last modified: 1 April 2014