St John’s Home For Boys, Canterbury


16 Balwyn Road
Canterbury VIC

Provider: Church of England

Year Opened: 1926

Year Closed: 1958

Set up in 1926 through amalgamation of St Martin’s Home for Boys, Auburn, and St John’s Evangelist Homes for Boys. For boys 1926- 1954, then girls were admitted and name changed to St John’s Homes for Boys and Girls.

Related News Articles

Boys say thank you, 27 March 1954 (The Herald)

Open and Blessed, 24 November 1924 (The Sun News Pictorial)

A Rich Experience, 26 April 2005 (Melton Express Telegraph – Author Mellissa Heagney)

MELTON’s Ken Missen is one of the subjects of a book on St John’s home for Boys in Canterbury.

Mr Missen and his younger brother were residents at the home from 1951-53 and, with others, share their memories in Reminiscences of St John’s Home for Boys.

Mr Missen wants to make people aware of the home’s beneficial contribution to the lives of many.

St John’s Home for Boys housed children who were orphans or who could not live at home because of family troubles.

The home was run by the Anglican Church and was open for 75 years. It later became part of the Anglicare organisation.

Mr Missen said his life’s lesson about giving back to the community was learned at the boys’ home.

“Looking back over my lifetime I believe the years spent at St John’s were the most important years of my life, even though they were very disciplined with many chores to do.

“The experience gave me a true principle of life, to think of other people, work ethics and values… it taught me to be productive, work in groups and teams, never to be idle, and to put more back into the community than you take from it.”

Mr Missen, who has lived in Melton for 41 years, still meets up with friends from his time at St John’s.

CLAN Homes – Orphanages Gallery

There are currently no other images available for CLAN members to view for this Home. If you have any images and would like to donate them, please contact CLAN.

CLAN Museum Gallery

There are currently no images of historical items available for CLAN members to view for this Home. If you have any historical items and would like to donate them, please contact CLAN.

CLAN library books (where this Home is mentioned)

VIC 99

Shelton Lea was born secretly, and adopted in the most bizarre circumstances into a high-profile family. Growing up he was told he would never inherit the family fortune; that he had been adopted as a playmate for the natural children. Here began a life of extremes and excesses.

Family dynamics produced disastrous outcomes and his adoptive mother placed him in a psychiatric institution at the age of three. He escaped from boys’ homes, lived with gypsies, Aborigines, in doorways, in parks and went to prisons along the east coast of Australia. But genetics propelled his ascendance.

He was born with tremendous gifts and when, as a teenager in a putrid lock-up, he discovered the writings of Ezra Pound, he knew the path his life would take.