Tag Archives: abuse

Clippings of the Barnardo Home Boys and Girls

Clippings of the Barnardo Home Boys and Girls
A letter to the editor of the Ottawa Citizen March 16 1928. B. Roberts Barnardo boy writes from Lanark, Ontario.

We have four Barnardo branch homes In Canada where children are received upon arrival, and from whence they are placed on farms and in home, and where in case of need they can and shelter and can appeal for advice or assistance. Each of them arrived here with their small belongings contained in a wooden box, which had been crafted by Barnardo’s boys who had been trained in carpentry. By great coincidence, a local family who had read about the forthcoming talk, had one of these boxes, and it was loaned to the Society for the evening. Still inside it was a list of the contents from clothing to toilet goods to Bible and Hymn Book. It was a poignant reminder of the many children who came to start a new life here.

There is a great demand for them, for, as you know, farm labour is just as scarce in Canada as it is in the United States, and there are ten applications for every boy we have.


The same is true for our girls who are trained for domestic servants. They get an excellent training and when they are old enough to be sent to Canada they are put in the best homes with generous. Christian people, who are familiar with our work. We could find homes tor ten times as many as we are now lending, but In making up our emigration parties we are always careful to select young men and young women who are suited to Canadian farms and domestic situations.

If you want the exact figures of those gone to the bad. and only a small percent have turned out to be worthless because of insolent and restless nature, bad tempers, insubordination, and vicious tempers Some of them have run away from their homes and we have found them. Others have been sent back to us as incorrigible, but we have never lost sight of any of our emigrants.  Ottawa Citizen 1903

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jul 1910, Fri  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 May 1906, Fri  •  Page 3

Between 1868 and 1930, about 30,000 young children were shipped to Canada to start a new life. They were known as Barnardo Children, named after Irish physician Thomas Barnardo, who gave up medicine to rescue homeless waifs off the streets of England with a missionary’s zeal. The children received board and training until foster homes or jobs could be found. But as employment dried up in Britain, Barnardo and his contemporaries believed it was in the children’s best interests to tear them from their families and foster families and ship them to vast colonial lands of opportunity : Canada and Australia. Girls were usually taken in by families to work as domestic help, and boys were sent to farms to labour in the fields. They did what they were told in return for room and board and meagre wages.

Barnardo was interested in getting desperate children off the streets of London and, eventually, other British cities. His original plan was to prepare these waifs as domestics and workers but, when the numbers became overwhelming, he got into the “export” business by sending them to the colonies – Canada was probably the largest recipient and the British government paid the fare.

Their motives were benevolent they wanted to see the kids were taken care of. Then it quickly went wrong. The Canadian government paid the groups $2 for each child, and a cash bonus of $5,000 for every 1,000 children they sent. The organizations sold the children as slave labour, the Canadian government bought them. The scheme was about money.

The children were not prepared for the harsh climate of Canada. Nor were they ready for the discrimination they encountered. The British organizations regarded the Home Children as fine British stock that would improve the Canadian gene pool, but the Canadians welcomed them only as cheap labour. They accepted the prevailing attitude that the children had “tainted blood,” and were criminals, imbeciles, thieves and carriers of syphilis. Under the Canadian Master and Servant Act, the children were bound to work for their sponsors until they were 18, and were subject to fines and imprisonment if they ran away. There were signs on local Canadian businesses that said, “No English need to apply for work here!”

 It is an era of Britain’s shame – and Canada’s, too. Americans had slavery, and Canada had something close to it

The Times
London, Greater London, England
24 May 1910, Tue  •  Page 45

John Stacey Lanark County

This Bernardo medal belonged to Robert Stacey’s father who was a Bernardo Home Boy. These medals were given out to those who were ‘ good boys”
This is Robert Stacey‘s father John. He came over to Canada with the other home boys via Barnardos.
Roy was my brother, and Lillian was my sister. Bob Stacey-The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Dec 1918, Sat • Page 19

Once in Canada, the Barnardo children were first sent to distribution centres, until a suitable placement could be found for them. These placements were generally labour-based: a Barnardo child might expect to work on a family farm as an agricultural labourer, or as some other form of domestic servant. Although there are some examples of Barnardo children being adopted by the families who took them in, these instances appear to be quite rare. A lot of the children were made to sleep in barns –not fed very well and a lot of them were physically abused, whippings and beatings, some girls sexually abused. Charles Bradbury, a young teenager who, in 1897, worked on a farm in Goderich, Ont., and got into a scrap with the farmer’s son. That evening, Bradbury’s body was found in a burned-down barn. His throat had been slashed.

British Home Children in Canada– Click here

Thomas Bonner

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Apr 1907, Sat  •  Page 8

John Gillies, Arthur Edmond and Arthur Sicard

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Aug 1897, Sat  •  Page 5


The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Jun 1896, Thu  •  Page 7


The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jun 1908, Mon  •  Page 6

Frederick Townsend

Related reading

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark


Lily Roberts of Drummond The Rest of the Story

Canadians Just Wanted to Use me as a Scullery-Maid

Laundry Babies – Black Market Baby BMH 5-7-66

British Home Children – Quebec Assoc click

Ontario East British Home Child Family click

British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association click

Domestic Violence is Never a Kiss from a Rose — Take Back the Night!!


Written in 2013 and published in theHumm



As I tossed a single red rose into the flowing waters of the Mississippi River in remembrance of Kerry and Starla Walters, I realized I had no idea who they were. Walters was found dead in 2009 with her baby in Carleton Place, Ontario just after she finished maternity leave. Like many stories, she and her husband were growing apart and was confiding to girlfriends she was worried what would happen to him if they split up.

“Maybe things weren’t working out the way he wanted,” Kerry Walters’ mother, Carol Taylor, admitted to others. “You know the old scenario — if I can’t have you, no one will.” -CBC News

The bodies of Walters, 25, and her 11-month-old daughter Starla were found hidden in an upstairs bedroom of their Carleton Place duplex hours after Montreal police found the body of her husband, 28-year-old Lennox Walters. Walters had jumped to his death from a 17th floor room of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and the weapon he had used on his family also lay hidden at his former home that was now a crime scene.

Walters graduated military boot camp in Montreal and the couple who had dated for 6 years lived at CFB Cold Lake in Alberta. They later moved to Carleton Place because Kerry had acquired a new job working with people with brain injuries at Vista Centre in Ottawa.

Lennox had told the couple’s roommates, Jason Barrette and Krista Roberts, he and Kerry were taking the baby to Niagara Falls for a couple of days. Many days later no one could reach Kerry on her cellphone. Barrette and Roberts were unaware the bodies of Kerry and Starla were upstairs. Police later made the grim discovery and soon after their story was forgotten.

Amy Paul’s body was discovered in a hay field on Tuesday on the 2900-block of Nixon Roa in the Ottawa area.  A farmer using a tractor in his field discovered Paul’s body Tuesday morning and called police. Relatives told CBC News Paul worked in the sex trade– but does that make her less of a woman? Will anyone remember her story next week? If you count the number of women and children in bonded labor, domestic slavery topped with violence or sexual slavery today, there are more slaves in the world than at any other time in history.

These victim’s faces have been forgotten but their personal stories should never be filed away in the back of anyone’s minds. If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms. These growing stories of domestic violence should be the lead story on the news every single night. The public’s outraged voice could change and impact someone’s life and maybe save yet another victim. You can’t change what happened yesterday, but you can certainly change what happens now.

Each dollar you spend at As Good as New Thrift Shop goes to the Lanark County Interval House. By spending or donating money at any domestic-violence charity you will help save someone else. After all, it takes a village and honesty to stop violence. Sending kisses from a rose in memory of yet another victim of domestic violence just has to stop.

Photos by Linda Seccaspina from: Take Back the Night held in Carleton Place, ON. September 20th, 2013 

As Good As New Thrift Store

33 Bridge Street, Carleton Place Ontario, K7C 2V2
Phone: 613-257-7074

HELP!!! We need:

We are need in quality fall-winter clothing donations, or if you can volunteer please contact the store. If you have a business that deals in clothing, we would be truly honoured to accept your donations. Not only is it good thrift karma to donate, but cleaning out your closet will inspire mental notes of what you truly (and don’t truly!) need!

All proceeds go to:

Lanark County Interval House opened in 1979 when it became apparent that even rural women were being assaulted by their husbands. They thought at first they could solve the problem in 10 years and naively wondered if all they had to do was tell people and it would stop. They came to learn how pervasive this violence was and still is.

As Good as New Facebook page

Black Eyes, Blue Tears, and Dark Thoughts – Zoomers


Black Eyes, Blue Tears, and Dark Thoughts – Zoomers.

“At five a family relative took my life away from me and no one cared. I remember being held on his knee and slowly being fed beer. The taste was sour in my mouth and to this day anytime I smell it I grow cold. I remember the feel of chafed hands and the echoes of dark laughter coming from his mouth. The silent screams still try to exit my mouth every day always followed by immediate darkness.”