St John's Boys Town was the new name given to St John the Baptist Home for Boys at Brooklyn Park in 1941. It was run by the Brothers of St John the Baptist as an orphanage for boys older than 12 years of age. It was located at Marshall Terrace, Brooklyn Park. In 1942 the running of the institution was taken over by the Salesians of Don Bosco. In 1954 St John's Boys Town became known as 'the boarding section of Salesian School'.
The reformatory St John the Baptist Home for Boys was renamed St John's Boys Town in 1941. It was run by the Brothers of St John the Baptist under the control of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board and was located at Marshall Terrace, Brooklyn Park. As part of a rationalisation of the prevailing situation in Adelaide, it was decided by the newly arrived Archbishop Matthew Beovich that the Brothers of St John the Baptist would look after older boys, with younger boys from three to twelve years of age being sent to St Joseph's Orphanage, Largs Bay.
By 1942 the number of boys in care had risen to almost fifty. Internal problems within the order, combined with concerns about the management of the Home, led to the handing over of control. By command of the Archbishop the Salesians of Don Bosco replaced the Brothers of St John the Baptist. The order of the Brothers of St John the Baptist was suppressed and ceased to operate. Several options were offered to the remaining brothers, which included transfer to another religious congregation.
On taking over, the Salesian priests and brothers applied to alter the name and rules of the home to put a new focus on education and training. In 1954 full authority to accept day-boys for both technical and secondary studies was granted and the name 'Boys Town' was discontinued. A new building was erected so that the number of residents could be increased and the home became known as 'the boarding section of Salesian School'. Despite the official name change the Home continued to be referred to as St John's Boys Home in correspondence for some years.
1898 - 1941 St John the Baptist Home for Boys
1941 - 1954 St John's Boys Town
1954 - 1984 The Boarding section of the Salesian School
Sources used to compile this entry: '"Adoption Solves Delinquency"', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 12 December 1953, p. 16, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47590386; 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: 23 February 2011, Last modified: 29 May 2015