The work of providing a home for these children began in 1905 when the late Mr. & Mrs J.P. Roberts donated a cottage at Largs Bay.
At the time the Home was opened five children were in residence but by 1911 the six-roomed house was too small for tho numbers of children requiring a home. A larger property was purchased at Magill and in 1912 Greenslade Home was built. Both boys and girls lived at Greenslade until 1921 when an adjoining house was purchased and named Roberts Home to perpetuate tho name of tho original donors. The boys moved in and remained there until 1924 when Cann Home was built for them. It cost £6,000 and was opened free of debt. Roberts Home then became the toddlers’ cottage but it had to be demolished. When the Rev. W.H. Cann retired as Superintendent of tho Central Mission in 1929 a Supervisor’s house was built and ho moved in and undertook this work.
Until 1955 children remained at the Homes only until they were fourteen. However, they can now remain until they have completed their secondary education. Minnie Maughan Cottage was built in 1955 at a cost of £12,000 and twelve boys moved in with a married couple to care for them.
Mrs McNiel (formerly Minnie Maughan, daughter of Rev. James Maughan) was honorary secretary of the Homes for over 30 years. A hall was also built at this time and both buildings were opened by Lady George, wife of the then Governor.
In 1957 a smaller house next door was bought for the Supervisor and the Supervisors residence was made into a Cottage Home for ten boys and girls. It was called Curtice Home, and this meant that brothers and sisters from the one family could live together in the same home. Since then Cann Home has been altered to provide homes for two family groups of from ten to twelve children. Each family lives quite independently with separate bathrooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. The kitchen is the only room which is shared and the staff of each family takes turns to do the cooking.
This year will see the completion of tho change over to cottage type care so that all are living in family groups of ten children with a house mother and assistant to care for them. A new Roberts Home is now nearing completion and as soon as possible the girls from Greenslade will move in there so that their home can be altered to provide a self-contained flat for Matron and a home for a family group of ten.
<Date and source to be confirmed>