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Tasmania - Archival Collection

Bethany Boys' Home Records (1947 - c. 1974)

c. 1974

The Bethany Boys' Home Records consist of two Day Books, some loose papers, four photograph albums, and a box of slides. The contents of this collection are dated 1947 to 1974. Items contain information about the children who lived at the Bethany Boys' Home.


Access Conditions

This series has a D75 access restriction. It is only open within this period to former residents and their relatives of the Home. In the instance that a former resident wishes to access these volumes, a search will be done by staff and the client will be provided with a copy.


The two Day Books were kept by the Manager of the Home which, from 1955, was Ray Morffew.

The first Day Book dates from 1947 to 1966 and is labelled 'Bethany Boys' Hostel, Dover, Tas'. It begins with a three page summary of the children's medical histories from 1948 to 1960, including dates of birth, admissions, dental checks with a comment such as 'OK' or 'fillings', immunisations, infectious diseases, surgery, and the date the children left the Home.

The next part of the Day Book has a page or pages for each child which contain reports about them. These reports are in two sections with the first including basic information such as dates of birth, admission dates, reasons for admission, religion, varying amounts of information about parents, immunisation dates, and whether or not the child was a ward of state, private admission, or 'maintained by the church'. This section also mentions if the child was in another Home before Bethany.

The second section of the report has dated entries which concern the child's progress in the Home, at school, and in health (it records falls, cuts and so on). It also records which family the child went to for the holidays, activities such as judo or paid jobs, and contact with parents.

At the back of the Day Book there is a list of money and gifts received.

The inside back cover of the Day Book has a list of months with the children's birthdays.

The second Day Book is labelled '"Bethany Reports" No 2 Book Commencing July 1962'. The closing date is 1974. The following is written on the inside cover: '"Bethany" Officially Opened 14 June 1947 1st Boy admitted: 27 Aug 1947'. Like the first Day Book, it contains reports about the children with each child having their own page or pages. It is set out in the same way and has similar information.

There are some loose papers that include newspaper cuttings, forms signed by parents placing their children at Bethany, index cards with medical information, rough notes about children, a vocational guidance report, a month by month list of birthdays, a letter from St Martin's School to Mr Morffew concerning a child's behaviour and discipline, a Hobart District Office report about state wards at Bethany (1973), and a list of boys who lived there. There are also a couple of letters from state government departments about individual children.

There are four photograph albums with photographs of the Home at Dover and after it moved to Lowelly Road, Lindisfarne. Most of the photographs are of children. There is also a box of slides.

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Related Organisations

Prepared by: Caroline Evans