St Kevin's Industrial School was established in 1897 in Glendalough, near Lake Monger, by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate as an industrial school for Catholic boys aged up to 16 years sent by the courts. Private admissions and boys from orphanages were also accepted. By 1922 all remaining boys had been sent to Clontarf and St Kevin's Industrial School closed.
St Kevin's Industrial school was recorded in government reports with a variety of different names, usually including either the suburb, Glendalough, or the name, St Kevin's, in the title. The way the institution was described also varied in government reports with St Kevin's being known as an industrial school, an orphanage, a farm school and a reformatory.
St Kevin's Industrial School was established on a large parcel of land in the Perth suburb of Glendalough in 1897 as an industrial school for boys aged up to 16 years. It was run by a Catholic religious order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who ran similar institutions in Ireland. As an industrial school, St Kevin's received government fees for children sent there by the state. They also took orphanage children and boys sent there by family. By 1922, the remaining 16 boys had been sent to Clontarf and St Kevin's closed.
A letter of appreciation of the The Daily News Orphans' Christmas Cheer Fund in 1915 gives an insight into life at St Kevin's. The letter shows that donations enabled the children to occasionally have extras that were not part of their daily experience:
I have the honour to inform you that about one-third of the amount was spent on lollies, one-third on toys and the remainder on fruit and edibles. Please accept on behalf of the children and staff the expression of our sincere gratitude. Letter, 27 December 1915 published in The Daily News 2 December 1916, p.10
Archbishop Clune reported in evidence to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on the State Children Act Amendment Bill in October 1918, that there were 36 'Government children and three private children' at St Kevin's and he thought that 'there were also some orphanage children there'.
When St Kevin's closed, the buildings were given to the Little Sisters of the Poor for use as an old people's home.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'An industrial school [St Kevin's]', Western Mail, Charles Harper, J.W. Hackett, James Gibey, for the Western mail office, Perth, 12 November 1897, p. 17, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33146487; Report by the Superintendent of Relief and Inspector of Charitable Institutions for the year, Government Printer, Perth, 1897; 'St Kevin's boys' industrial school', The West Australian, 24 November 1897, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3188637; 'The Daily News [Christmas Cheer Fund]', The Daily News, 2 December 1916, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81358001; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'St Kevin's Industrial Farm School', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Report of the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on the State Children Act Amendment Bill [Document], Date: 19 November 1918; Western Australia. Charities Department, Report by the Superintendent of Public Charities and Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory Schools, Government Printer, Perth, [W.A.], 1899-1907. 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 24 November 2014