MEMORIES came flooding back for up to 20 former Gill Memorial Home residents who gathered for a reunion in Goulburn on Saturday.
Some didn’t remember their ‘inmate numbers’ until they met at the old Salvation Army boys home. The event reunited residents who attended the facility from the 1940s through until the 1970s.
It was also a chance for one of them, Clem Apted to gather material for the book he’s writing – ‘The Salvations Army’s Shame’ – with journalist friend Mike Davis. Mr Apted spent four years at Gill.
Also with the group was freelance journalist for the ABC and archival recordist Hamish Sewell, who was filming a documentary. They all recalled being cold in winter in the draughty under heated dormitory style rooms and the food, which was “not very palatable” at the best of times.
Hence the boys would frequently pinch fruit from trees in the area or on their way to and from school to supplement their diet. Clem
Apted recalled becoming quite expert at knitting and French knitting and using the wool from old jumpers to make scarves to keep themselves warm in winter. Clem donated a ball of his French knitting in orphanage colours of blue yellow red and white to the National Orphanage Museum.