The St Vincent de Paul Society Home for Boys at Waterton Hall opened in 1978. It offered homeless boys accommodation, the opportunity to finish their schooling, and if they were over school age, training in farming. The Home closed in the 1990s.
Waterton Hall was originally the site of a small Catholic girls' school which applied to take British child migrants in 1949. Although the School was approved, no migrants ever arrived. After it closed, the Catholic Church used Waterton Hall for its Commonwealth funded Trident Outdoor Recreation Scheme which took students from Catholic High Schools in Tasmania. That scheme closed when funding for it finished. St Vincent de Paul then took the site over and transferred six or seven boys from St Vincent de Paul Boys' Hostel in Invermay.
In 1978, the District Child Welfare Officer wrote a report about the Hostel. According to it, two boys attended Exeter District School and the others worked on the farm which consisted of 138 acres of pasture land. It had cattle and a small dairy. Recreation included fishing, shooting, and trail bike riding.
The boys lived in a classroom converted into dormitories and a large kitchen. There was room for six or seven.
The Home was staffed by Mr Ferall, previously the Superintendent at the Boys' Hostel in Invermay, and two other men who carried out the work of handyman, cook and gardener. In addition, they supervised the boys.
The rules were 'clearly defined'. If a boy broke them, he had to go back to Invermay. The discipline was verbal with no physical punishment allowed.
There was a range of ages between 14 and 25. The Child Welfare Officer commented that:
the unusual range of ages at Rowella appears to be a highly successful aspect in that each group within the complex creates a feeling of dependence and belonging, almost a family atmosphere is achieved.
In 2013, Waterton Hall is a winery.
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: 3 September 2012, Last modified: 14 March 2014