Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Record clues

Paperspast articles sometimes give clues of records which might still exist if I was clever or lucky enough to find them.

The following article has a few such clues:
Poverty Bay Herald 23rd October 1897. A young man, 21 years of age, almost bootless, hair unkempt and tattered clothes, appeared before the Wellington Benevolent Institution Trustees on Tuesday, says the N.Z. Times. The young fellow had walked from Auckland to Gisborne, and from the latter place, through the agency of some kind people, a passage to Wellington by steamer had been obtained for him. When a boy he had been sent to an industrial school, and had been hired out by a man whom he said had ill-treated him, one day striking him so severely on the head that deafness followed. To make him understand the Trustees had almost to yell at him. The boy had come to Wellington to see the Public Trustee. A brother had died, leaving a sum of over £200 to go to the next of kin. The father received the money, and the deaf son wanted the Trustees to compel the father to hand a portion of the money over to him. For the past few nights the boy had been living at the Ohiro Home, but as he had no claim on the local Board, the Trustees decided to grant him a passage back to Gisborne.
What National Archives says about the Ohiro Home
The Ohiro Benevolent Home, also known as the Central Park Hospital or the Central Park Old People's Home, was established in 1893 as a home for the elderly who were unable to care for themselves. It was closed down in June 1975, and remaining patients were transferred to Wellington Public Hospital.
But there is also a note on Archives files saying that the Wellington Benevolent Institution which ran the Ohiro Home, was proposed back in 1867.  WP. Series 3.box 22, record 335. I can't see any records on their system until 1945.

About the Industrial schools which in 1880 became the responsibility of the new Education Dept, they were previously under the Justice Dept. These files were then given to Social Welfare which has forbidden our use of them at all. Such a draconian dept with far too much power. Fancy not being able to see files relating to people who have been dead for a century!

The Public Trust's files are well hidden but when I'm next in Wellington, I will try to follow up a few clues. I wasn't surprised that the boy got no-where near them.

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