The St Vincent de Paul Boys' Hostel opened in Invermay in the early 1970s. It was for homeless adolescent boys. The Hostel closed in about 1980.
A Mr Ferrall opened the Hostel after organising dances for young people. He asked one boy who went to them regularly, always shoeless and in old clothes, why he didn't go home to change beforehand. From that, he discovered that the boy had nowhere to live.
The Hostel's first home was in the old Star Theatre in Lytton Street, Invermay. Then St Vincent de Paul bought a couple of flats for the boys. In 1974, it bought a two storey weatherboard house, adjoining the Star Theatre. The funds came from fundraising activities, mostly stalls.
Mr Ferall lived at the Hostel.
The boys were aged 15 to 17. In 1976, 10 lived at the Hostel but it had accommodation for 12. Boys walked in from the streets or were referred by the courts. Some had been thrown out of home while others were orphans.
The boys paid board if they had a job and could stay as long as they wanted. They got their own breakfasts and lunches but a cook came in every day to cook their main meals.
The official opening by the Roman Catholic Archbishop was in February 1977.
In 1978, the Society opened Rowella Farm at Waterton Hall and transferred six or seven boys there. Four of them remained at Invermay.
c. 1973 - c. 1980 St Vincent de Paul Boys' Hostel
1978 - c. 1991 St Vincent de Paul Society Home for Boys at Waterton Hall
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 20 July 2012, Last modified: 14 March 2014