St Joseph's Home, in Bucasia, opened in 1874 and closed in 1885 when the residents were moved to new premises at Neerkol. The home was run by the Sisters of St Joseph until 1880 when the Sisters of Mercy took over management of the home. The home housed orphaned and abandoned boys and girls from infancy to teenage years.
St Joseph's Orphanage, Bucasia was established in 1874 by Father Pierre Bucas. The Sisters of St Joseph ran the orphanage from 1876 to 1879 and they were replaced by the Sisters of Mercy who took care of the children from 1880 to 1885. St. Joseph's Orphanage, Bucasia was licensed on 14 April 1880 under the Orphanages Act of 1879. Due to health problems, the Queensland Government closed the orphanage and the children were relocated to a new site. This site, known as Meteor Park Orphanage was built in 1885 at Neerkol, some 22 kilometres west of Rockhampton. Meteor Park was the name of the station property which Dr John Cani, the first Bishop of the Rockhampton Diocese, purchased in 1882, soon after he became Bishop. Neerkol is the name of the railway siding closest to the property.
1874 - 1885 St Joseph's Orphanage, Bucasia
1885 - 1978 St Joseph's Home, Neerkol
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, https://cssa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Piece-of-the-Story.pdf; Central Queensland Family History Association Inc., 'St Joseph's Home, Neerkol', in Central Queensland Family History Association Inc, Google Sites, 2007, https://sites.google.com/site/cqfamilyhistory/articles-indexes/history/orphanages/st-joseph-s-home-neerkol; St Joseph's Orphanage Cemetery (Bucasia), 2011, http://www.mackayhistory.org/research/cemeteries/orphanage.html.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 28 August 2013, Last modified: 13 June 2014