Monday Memories – Links with GFS and Perth Orphanage, Swan Homes

There was a long association between GFS and the girls of Perth Orphanage from the time it was in Adelaide Terrace until the girls moved in 1942 to join the boys at the Swan Orphanage because of wartime bombings in the north of the State. The name was then changed to Swan Homes. It became a tradition in the 1940’s for the girls to be invited to a Christmas party at GFS Headquarters and this was organised over a long period by Mrs. Margaret Moore (the wife of the Dean), who was the President of GFS at the time. She was assisted by members of the Orana club and the House Mother at Headquarters, as well as leaders and members from the branches. The hall was always gaily decorated and the paper hats and sweet baskets were made by the helpers.

As the Headquarters building was near the corner of High and Pier Streets, it was only a short walk to the Deanery after the party tea, to play games on the lawn behind the Deanery during the years that Mrs Moore lived there. Then it was back to Headquarters for a concert before they returned home. They were up to 60 girls from Swan attending these parties and there was usually 2 members from each branch there as well. For many years the little visitors were given gift as well as sweets before they left. However as they received many gifts from organisations at Christmas, it was suggested that branches arrange to send a birthday gift to each girl instead and also keep in touch by writing . This was done for a long time and built up many friendships.

Some of the girls from Swan homes the GFS Lodge their home when they commenced work and Mrs Viva Sundercome, who was later to receive the MBE for her work on the Anglican Orphanages Board and for her work with GFS, started a fellowship club for them at GFS Headquarters. Some moved to the country and she kept in touch with them by letter.

When Swan Homes became Swanleigh in 1960, with a role as school hostel instead of an orphanage, the Christmas party became one for the girls from Parkerville Children’s Home, some of whom had actually been invited to parties before. The Orana Club and the House Mother continued to organise these with the help of Headquarters Townsend Members as well as leaders and GFSers

For more information on Swan Homes you can go to https://buff.ly/311zjz2


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Monday Memories – Part 1 – The GFS Caravan

From 1926 – 1943 (17 years) a ‘little house on wheels’, as the children called it, travelled through the outback of Western Australia, bringing friendship, comfort and the message of the Gospel to the settlers, and a special ministry to their children.
The story of the GFS caravan, which pioneered mission outreach by van in this State to isolated farms and little town, is one of great personal faith and incredible bravery on the part of the women who drove the van and accompanied the driver – travelling through the heat of summer and the bitterly cold, wet winters on roads that were more often than not just bush tracks, with corrugations, rocky surfaces and deep ridges worn by carts.

They found themselves bogged in mud in the winter and facing fallen trees, floods and other hazards. Under the rough conditions, mechanical breakdowns were frequent and very often far away from any help. The women who drove the van soon became, by necessity – very proficient at ‘running’ repairs.

Amongst those they visited were settlers on the Peel Estate and the Group settlement areas of the south-west; people who had come from England to start a new life after World War 1 – the majority without any farming experience and with only enthusiasm and an axe to get them on their way. By 1926, 10,000 immigrants had moved into the Group Settlements in the south-west. A large proportion of the Group Settlers belonged to the Church of England. This placed a very heavy responsibility on the church in WA. The GFS was enabled to help through its van.

But how did GFS become involved in this way?
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Au2ebJm4-bVkgvAJShzXyQbk-_1afg?e=SNCZoD


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Blessed to be a Blessing Ball

ONE MONTH TO GO!!! Come and join us at our Blessed to be a Blessing Ball https://buff.ly/2NfTIMS $80 per person (includes a 3 course meal – alcohol available for purchase at a cash bar) Photobooth fun and a DJ to dance the night away 💃🕺 So get your dancing shoes on and get a ticket today – why not grab some friends and get a table of 10 together


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Monday Memories – Part 2 – The GFS Lodge

Continuing our MM of the GFS Lodge, you will recall that The Society agreed to purchase a property. Mr Vincent a prominent Perth business man whose wife has been an Associate of St George’s Cathedral branch for many years and a friend of Mrs Ethel Burt co-operated with others to put up the required amount and soon afterwards he and Mr Loton became such generous benefactors to the Society.
The building at 240 Adelaide Terrace was in a poor condition when purchased and needed extensive renovations to make it suitable for its purpose. The Honorary Architect was Mr Herbert Parry and he worked tirelessly to develop a practical and attractive Lodge on the site. The cost to build the centre block and kitchen and renovate the existing buildings was 1,600 pounds (approximately AUS$162,000 in todays value).

Lady Barron, who was the wife of the Governor and also Patron of the Society, raised 1,000 pounds in a personal fund raising campaign. A leather bound book in which the donations are recorded are held in our archives. The GFS branches also contributed to the appeal. It is interesting to remember that during that time men earned approximately 1 pound per week!

The GFS Lodge was official opened by the Governor Sir Harry Barron on 5 June 1915 in the presence of a large gathering of people and officials. It was Lady Barron’s aim that the Lodge should be free of debt before she left WA and she made a special appeal in 1917 before she left. By 1920 1,874 pounds, plus interest, had been paid off the load, with 900 pounds still wing to Messrs Vincent and Loton. This they very generously liquidated, leaving the Lodge free of any debt and owned by GFS. In addition, money collected by the President, Mrs Riley, in a special appeal was returned to her by Messrs Vincent and Loton. This money was later used to help establish a hostel at Fremantle.

First photo is of Lady Barron and second is of Mr Loton (Mayor of Perth)


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Monday Memories

This week we are sharing our memories of another one of our early members Miss Margaret Milne Robertson. She was the GFS Secretary from 1931 to 1937. She was also Chairman of the Ethel Burt Townsend Fellowship during its most active period. She was a branch leader at South Perth and also GFS Representative on the Travellers’ Aid Society.

She met many migrants on their arrival at Fremantle and assisted them in every way possible. This was a work she continued over many years. Miss Milne Robertson organised many Easter camps in the hills and also went out in the GFS caravan when help was needed.

There was a great deal of work carried out from GFS Headquarters during the Depression years and Miss Milne Robertson played a major role in coordinating this.


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Membership

It’s time to renew your membership – or if you are not a member would you like to join. Please head to our webpage to get all the information you need to become a member today https://buff.ly/32c6fGg You can even pay online if you like!


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“Monday Memories – Part 1 – The GFS Lodge

GFS Lodge (Townsend Lodge) is situated at the site of the home of Captain John Septimus Roe, the first Surveyor General in Western Australia. The original home was a two story brick one, it had a tower and an upstairs balcony, it’s large garden and hedge sprawled on to Adelaide Terrace where there was formerly a ‘bend’ in the Terrace. There were stables in the backyard, a cellar under the dining room and a windmill provided water for the residents.

Ever since 1915 there has been a caring home provided on this same site for thousands of senior students and young business women. Most were from country areas and they came to Perth to continue their studies or to take up a job. The need for the Lodge was clearly seen by the Society and on 30 May 1913 a special meeting was called to discuss a proposal from the Claremont branch: “That all branches make a great effort to raise funds for a central Lodge.” This proposal was passed unanimously. In spite of the outbreak of war in 1914, when plans were being made, it was carried to a successful conclusion in 1915. This was made possible through the generosity of Richard Vincent and William Loton (later Sir William Loton), who advanced the 1,200 pounds required to purchase the building and this money was to be repaid, with interest, in seven years.

The first photo is that of the building in 1915 when it was purchased, second the statue of Captain John Septimus Roe and the third is after the first renovations were done around 1920″
 

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GFS Women’s Group

This Wednesday the 10th of July is our inaugural meeting of the new GFS Women’s Group at St John’s Anglican Church hall Greenwood from 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings of the month.  If you have been in GFS before or are interested in coming along to see how you may like to be involved more in our Communities and see how you may like to share your talents with others then please join us – more information can be found here 

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Wongan Hills Holiday Club

It’s on again – Holiday Club in Wongan Hills!

Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July 2019 at The Mocardy Centre, Wongan Hills.  On Sunday morning we will be singing songs and helping out with the service if the children would like to be involved.  Lots of fun with crafts, singing, bible stories, games and much more.  Come along and join in the fun.  Register online here or pick up your forms from the Mocardy Centre.

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Mother & Daughter High Tea

Yeah sure, our standard Mother and Daughter High Tea’s are pretty awesome (who doesn’t salivate at just the thought of a warm, freshly baked scone smothered in clotted cream and jam?), but a Disney themed one that is going to be awesome!

Honestly though, what better way to spend an afternoon than surrounded by all-things Disney while munching on yummy food? There’s something to suit everyone, whether you’re a Snow White girl like me or a diehard Aladdin fan, there will be plenty of fun to be had at our Disney-themed afternoon tea this year.

Book online through the link below or pay on the day but please RSVP so we know for catering (and gift) purposes.  So ‘get your ears on’ and come and have some fun at our annual Mother and Daughter High Tea.

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