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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

The Orphanage

The Orphanage.

The Orphanage was commenced many years ago in two little cottages in Montreal-street, Christchurch, on the site of the first printing office occupied by the Press newspaper. It was at that time purely a Church of England institution, managed by a committee. The demand upon its resources and accommodation increasing, a building was erected at Addington, the cost being defrayed by private subscriptions, and the proceeds of a monster fancy bazaar at which £700 were realised. To this the children were removed, the maintenance being effected by private subscriptions, supplemented by grants from the Provincial Government, the whole being still under the management of a committee, who handed it over to the Provincial Government. When the Lyttelton Hospital was abandoned the children and staff were removed to that building—where they are still located—and the control was handed over to the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board.

The building, which—very pleasantly situated on a hill over-looking the harbour—is one of the prominent features of Lyttelton, is not perhaps the most suitable for the purpose, still it affords most ample and comfortable accommodation for the children. Dormitories, school-room, dining-hall, work-rooms, page 151and baths, are large, well ventilated, and well furnished, the walls being tastefully tinted and decorated. The children are well dressed, fed, and cared for, and look thoroughly healthy and happy. They have two large playgrounds covered with tan and provided with poles, swings, &c., for gymnastic exercises. The school is exactly like any other Government school, having the same Standards and visited by the Government Inspector. The children are kept till the age of fourteen, when they are put out to earn their own livelihood. The girls, besides attending school, are thoroughly taught house-work, plain cooking, washing, and even waiting at table, so as to thoroughly fit them for domestic service. The institution is under the management of a superintendent (Mr. Ritchey), who possesses unusually good qualifications for the post, and takes a warm interest in the welfare of the little ones confided to his charge.