Waverley House was a Hostel opened in Adelaide by the Legacy Club of Adelaide in 1946. It provided accommodation for the children of deceased servicemen who were attending school and apprenticeships in the city. Waverley House was the second Hostel opened by Legacy, the first being Wentworth House at Woodville. Waverley House could accommodate up to 35 teenagers of both sexes. Waverley House closed in 1964. Children from Waverley House were moved to the Gurney Street Legacy Hostels.
Waverley House was a Hostel opened at 360 South Terrace, Adelaide, by the Legacy Club of Adelaide in 1946. It was the second Legacy Hostel opened to provide accommodation for the children of deceased servicemen who were attending school and apprenticeships in the city. The first Hostel, Wentworth House, was established in 1945 at Woodville in a building anonymously donated to the Legacy Club. When Wentworth House regularly became full to capacity the Legacy Club purchased the 16 room property known as 'Waverley' in Adelaide.
Waverley House was reported in newspapers at the time of its purchase as being able to accommodate up to 35 'Legacy wards' with a staff of four. Teenagers of both sexes were expected to live at the new Hostel.
According to Brian Dickey in 'A Generation of Legacy Service' Waverley House was under-utilised from early in its existence as family placements were the preferred option for orphaned children. Staffing problems also plagued the Hostel.
It was extremely difficult to find appropriate staff willing to stay at the hostel for long periods in a demanding post supervising children who were quite ready to jump over the back wall, if only to buy sweets at a nearby deli.
By the late 1950s the Hostel was mostly providing short-term care, however, it also continued to provide some longer term shelter for Legacy children who were unable to be cared for by their mothers. In 1960 the committee of Waverley House suggested to the Legacy Board that in future all Legacy children in need of accommodation should be placed at Waverley House. The Board agreed.
Staffing problems continued into the 1960s. In 1964 the Hostel closed and the property was sold to the neighbouring St Andrews Hospital. Legacy continued to provide temporary hostel care in two cottages in Gurney Street, Dulwich, but changes in the philosophy of child-care led to their closure after only a few years.
1946 - 1964 Waverley House
1964 - c. 1967 Gurney Street Legacy Hostels
Sources used to compile this entry: 'NEW LEGACY HOSTEL', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 30 May 1946, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35697126; Dickey, Brian, A generation of Legacy service: South Australia and Broken Hill since 1945, Legacy Club of Adelaide Inc, Adelaide, 1997; George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://nunku.org.au/resources/.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 16 February 2011, Last modified: 12 June 2014