An extract from Tourists' Guide to Geelong and the Southern Watering Places, published in 1893.
"One of the most interesting buildings here is "Hopetoun Cottage", belonging to the Homes of Hope conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Cherbury in Collingwood, and used as a Sanatorium for the rescued children from time to time. The cottage stands on about an acre of ground, and has accommodation for 25 children, and the necessary attendants. Hitherto the Rev. M. Cherbury has been honarary superintendent, giving his time and means for the past 13 years without fee or reward, being also pastor of the Tabernacle, Collingwood. We understand he is in future to devote the whole of his energies to the great philanthropic work, which his heart, and that of his dear wife so truly loves. The objects of the Homes of Hope is set forth in the annual report of the institution, which can be obtained on application, and no one should visit Ocean Grove without seeing the bright and happy children so well cared for in Cherbury Vale. The view of the cottage is taken from the side of the hill leading from the terrace. Anyone interested in the welfare of such a noble work as the rescuing of helpless and homeless orphans will find a welcome from the matron. According to the last report 113 children are being provided for, and they are sent in batches to the seaside home as circumstances allow, staying from two to three months each visit. Their education is well looked after, and their religious training is quite undenominational.1"
- A. J. Campbell, Tourists' Guide to Geelong and the South Watering Places, Henry Thacker, Geelong, 1893, pp.47-48.
[From the Geelong Historical Records Centre and the files of the Bellarine Historical Society]
An extract from The Weekly Times, April 17, 1897.
Homes of Hope for Destitute Children.
Among the many beneficient institutions of Victoria, the Homes of Hope for Destitute Children, at Collingwood, with their pretty Cottages by the Sea, at Ocean Grove, of which we give an illustration this week, deservedly takes prominent rank. Since their inception, seventeen years ago, they have done a vast amount of good in reclaiming poor and helpless children, and placing them in positions where, by industry and integrity, they have become useful members of society, instead of becoming, as otherwise would probably have happened, a drag and a burden, if not a reproach to the community. The Homes have been the means of succoring and relieving the immediate wants of the fatherless, and of destitute and friendless children, who, from no fault of their own, have been thrown upon the world, either to perish, or to sink into infamy and shame. It is an experience no less touching than gratifying to meet many of those who have, by their means, been rescued from the bitter lot of helplessness, and have been placed in situations where there is every prospect of their becoming worthy citizens. Irrespective of creed or nationality, the good work goes on day after day, week after week, year after year. But all this costs money, and it is to those whom fortune has placed above want that the Homes should powerfully appeal for generous support. The Homes, which are open to the public all through the week, are capable of accommodating over 100 children, and there are many more to be rescued. the little inmates are cared for in the Homes until they are sufficiently trained and educated for respectable employment.
Little children, happy children,
Playing at the mother's knee,
With no thought of care or sorrow,
Laughing in their childish glee;
Nurtur'd, cared for, fed and tended,
Well clad, watched, and wrapped up warm,
From the rough world's ills defended,
Safely shielded from all harm.
Little children, hapless children,
Born to misery and pain,
Nursed in sorrow, bred in sadness,
Bound by poverty's hard chains;
Shelterless from burning summer,
All exposed to winter's cold,
Hungry, ragged, street-taught, wretched,
And inured to ills untold.
Yet the pitying eye supereal,
Sure no differences can see
'Twixt those of whom spake the Master:
"Suffer them to come to Me."
Our clear duty stands before us,
Unmistakeable and plain;
Help the helpless, poor and wretched;
Our small loss is their great gain.
Nay, not loss, for our poor treasure,
Garnered up in Heaven's bright store,
Shall, in unrestricted measure,
Be repaid us, o'er and o'er.
Lo! 'tis done, for here among us,
With an ever open door,
Stand the Homes of Hope for Children,
Orphans, destitute and poor.
For God's lambs, who, suffering helpless,
Here may find a fitting fold.
Who but will for soft-eyed pity,
Spare a little surplus gold?
Let us say, with hearts o'erflowing -
Tender women, sturdy men -
Bless the Homes of Hope for Children,
And the echo comes - AMEN.