Saturday, 23 July 2016

Dhurringile mansion - Sepia Saturday #340

This week's Sepia Saturday theme is picture postcards.

I have a picture postcard of the Dhurringile mansion from my grandmother's photo album.

My maternal grandparents Archie and Daisy FLEMING lived there for a couple of years. 
My grandfather was employed to teach the boys farming.

You can read more about the mansion HERE

 An excerpt:
"In 1947, Dhurringile was purchased by the Presbyterian Church for use as a home for immigrants boys from the United Kingdom whose fathers had died during the war. The intention was to train the boys in farming methods to prepare them for employment. By this time the homestead was in a deteriorating condition and substantial repairs and alterations were needed. The Dhurringile Rural Training Farm did not open until 13 June 1951. Life in the home was spartan, difficulties were encountered in recruiting boys from Scotland and the scheme had limited success. The Commonwealth Government continued to provide increasing financial support to the home in accordance with an immigration policy to promote British migration, but difficulties persisted and a decision was made in 1964 to close the Dhurringile Rural Training Farm."



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A very handsome building that looks grand on the outside but perhaps as a school was more utilitarian on the inside. I've never heard of this program of bring orphans from the UK to Australia. Was it just for boys or were girls allowed too?

  3. By 1951 I guess farming wouldn't be first choice for young boys. Funny how things change. Now we find ourselves, growing avocados out in the sticks, envied by millennials who are sick of urban life and want to unchain themselves from electronics. The pendulum never stops swinging.

  4. Another connection to war, here boys were being trained who had lost their fathers in WW II...and at a farm school which had a mansion as it's centerpiece! Sounds like a good idea, perhaps. The mansion must have had a history before that as well...makes me wonder.

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments. The program to bring boys to Australia has been controversial and under scrutiny for many years since as some of the "schools" were shamefully guilty of abuse. Thankfully I have never heard of anything like this associated with Dhurringile. I've only heard stories of happy memories there. Many of the boys at Dhurringile were from Scotland and settled in this area. My late mum often mentioned running into one or other of the "boys" even in recent years.
    The link to read more about the mansion tells of its history. During WW2 it was used as an internment camp. It is currently a minimum security prison.

  6. Very interesting story, Kerryn. Here in Virginia there were schools in the late 1800s-early 1900s that taught farming to the boys and homemaking skills (like canning and sewing) to the girls.

  7. That was an interesting nugget of information that I was not previously aware of. Those poor boys!

  8. Small typo in your title that may cause problems in a search engine.

  9. Well it sounded like a good idea, but it also sounds a bit too Dickensian.

  10. It looks grand doesn't it? I'm not surprised the farming training wasn't a huge success given different conditions etc. it surprised me that the orphan migration program was unfamiliar to most. A relief that it has been free from accounts of abuse so prevalent in some "homes". The book "Oranges and Sunshine" tells their daily horrors all too well. This web link is a good summary

    1. Thanks for the link to the book Pauleen, I had watched the very emotive movie Oranges and Sunshine. Trailer can be viewed at