British Home Child reunion returning to Bible Hill

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BIBLE HILL – Bill Hill is eager to meet others who have connections to British home children.

British Home Child reunion returning to Bible Hill

Hill, a Truro resident, will emcee the 11th annual British Home Child reunion this Saturday in Bible Hill. The event will take place at the Bible Hill Junior High School on College Road at 9 a.m., beginning with registration.

About 100,000 British Home Children were sent to Canada by British Child Care organizations beginning in the late 1800s. The four to 15-year-old children worked as farm labourers and domestic servants until they were 18. Many spent their lives trying to identify their parents and find their siblings and most were unsuccessful. 

Hill has been attending the local British Home Child reunion for a number of years since finding out his grandfather, Ernest, was a British Home Child.

“I found out by accident. I was doing research for someone else and did my own search,” said Hill, adding not a lot is known about his grandfather’s past.

Ernest was from a community near Birmingham, England and arrived in Canada, most notably in Quebec, at the age of 13 and was known “as a traveller.”

Hill continues to find out more about his family’s past because it’s “nice to find out something about your background.” He said that’s one of many reasons why attending the reunion is so valuable.

“One in eight people could be a descendant of a British Home Child … and you get to speak with others, find (similarities), hear stories, and make friends.”

Catherine West, chairwoman of the British Home Children and Descendants Association, encourages people to participate in the reunion.

“There were quite a few in Truro and area. A lot came here … a few hundred at least … because it was a farming area,” said West, whose grandfather was a home child from Birmingham, England and landed in New Brunswick.

“Mostly (home children) have been forgotten. And many of the children were made to feel shame and not talk about it (growing up). They were free, cheap labour and a lot were abused and many people don’t know who they were.”

There is no registration fee for Saturday’s reunion, which will include a special guest speaker, Halifax-based genealogical expert Terry Punch.

A number of other activities will take place and the gathering will end at Victoria Park with a dedication of a bench and tree that were place in memory of British Home Children.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

Info box:

If you go:

What:  11th annual British Home Child reunion

When: Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. with registration

Where: Bible Hill Junior High School

Agenda:

9:30 a.m. – Welcome and announcements

10 a.m.  – Power point, pass the mike

11 a.m. – Break, prizes

11:30 a.m. – Business meeting, election of officers

Noon – Group photo, cutting of the cake, lunch

1 p.m. – Guest speaker

2 p.m. – Questions and answers

2:30 p.m. – Draws

3 p.m. – Closing, going to Victoria Park

 

Organizations: British Home Child reunion, British Home Children and Descendants Association, Bible Hill Junior High School

Geographic location: Truro, Canada, Birmingham England Quebec Victoria Park New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Sebastian de Carss.
    October 18, 2013 - 08:21

    Being one of last child migrant slaves for preparation for Australia 1960s... I do have excellent photo's of evidences.

  • Virginia Redmond
    October 17, 2013 - 18:54

    WTG Uncle Bill!