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Our Last Year in New Zealand, 1887

By William Garden Cowie, D.D., Bishop of Auckland

London: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1888.

Appendix E. Women's Home, Diocese of Auckland

(See page 94.) "The Lord helpeth them that are fallen."--Psa. cxlvi. 8.



Superintendent: Mrs. Cowie.

Chaplain: Rev. G. H. S. Walpole.

Hon. Medical Officer: Dr. Kenderdine.

Committee of Management

Ven. Archdeacon Dudley.
Rev. J. S. Hill.
Rev. G. H. S. Walpole.
Mrs. Cowie.
Mrs. J. M. Clark.
Mrs. Kinder, Secretary and Treasurer.

Address: Woodcroft, Remuera.

Matron: Miss Hall.

It was three years in the end of June, 1887, since the Women's Home was opened by the above Committee, in the Brighton Road, Parnell; to receive young women desirous to return to virtuous living. In July, 1886, a Report of the two first years was published, giving an account of the steps taken in the opening of the Home, of the purchase of the freehold property known as May Cottage for a permanent Home, and of the additions to the house--enabling it to give accommodation to twelve inmates, and providing every convenience for washing, [352/353] ironing, and needlework. Sixty-one inmates were received into the Home during those two first years. Of these, 18 had returned to domestic service, 8 had been restored to their friends, 6 had married, and 12 were still in the Home in the end of June, 1886. Of those 12, 8 are now in domestic service, 1 is restored to her friends, and 2 are married. From August, 1886, to the end of June, 1887, 25 additional inmates were admitted into the Home, and 7 more have been received up to the end of September. Of these 32 inmates admitted since the end of June, 1886, 11 are in service, 10 restored to their friends, and 7 are at present in the Home. During the three and a quarter years since the Home was opened, 93 inmates, besides 47 infants, have in all been received, of different nationalities and Christian denominations.

The inmates are kept constantly employed in various kinds of work; and, the object being to send them forth well equipped for their duties in life, they are required to remain in the Home for several months, during which time they are carefully taught and trained. It will be seen that their earnings for the year amount to upwards of £91. This sum would have been larger, if more orders could have been obtained.

The same experienced and highly qualified Matron, Miss Hall, continues at the head of the institution; and she is ably-seconded by her assistant, Miss Aldridge, who is an excellent laundry matron, as well as being good and helpful in other ways. Mrs. Constant, who did good service at the Home as nurse and laundry matron for nearly three years, returned to England in April.

The Home is greatly indebted to Dr. Kenderdine, who kindly undertook the office of Honorary Medical Officer to the Institution when it was first opened, and has ever since been unceasing in his kind and skilful attention to the inmates and their infants, whenever they needed his valuable services.

In some cases of emergency Dr. Mackellar has also given the Home the benefit of his care and skill, to the relief and [353/354] charge, and to the well-being of the comfort of those patients.

It is earnestly hoped that those who have not yet contributed anything towards the work of the Home will no longer withhold their help. If all would do what they could, all anxiety as to ways and means would be removed from the minds of the workers. A much larger number of annual subscribers is needed for this purpose.

If two discreet and godly women in each parish and district, commended by their clergyman for the work, would become Associates of the Women's Home, and undertake the office of collectors in their parish or district, and make known to their clergyman any cases therein needing the help of the Women's Home, it would be one great step towards the furtherance of the work.

There is still a mortgage of £350 upon the property, on which interest has to be paid. The Committee are very desirous to be relieved of this burden of debt. No help whatever is received from the Government; and the Home is entirely dependent upon voluntary gifts and offerings and the work of the inmates.

The thanks of the Committee are especially due to Mrs. Somervell, who, through her trustee, Mr. J. M. Clark, continues to give annually to the Home the interest of £ 1000. They also tender their thanks to the Synod for the grant of £50, received from the Managers of the Church Gazette in 1886.

It has been very cheering and encouraging to the workers to watch the change that has gradually spread over the faces of many of the inmates during their stay in the Home. The sad, hopeless, dejected bearing, and the sometimes sullen and hard expression of countenance which were theirs, have disappeared, and bright, happy faces and eyes with the light of hope in them have taken their place--an index, it is believed, in many cases, of a still greater change beneath the surface. Kindness and love, with gentle firmness, are the principles [354/355] upon which the work is carried on, in the endeavour humbly to follow in the Master's footsteps.

"Speak gently to the erring;
For is it not enough
That innocence and peace have gone,
Without thy censure rough?
It sure must be a weary lot,
That sin-stained heart to bear,
And those who share a happier fate
Their eludings well may spare.

"Speak gently to the erring;
Thou yet mayst lead them back
With holy words, and tones of love,
From misery's thorny track;
Forget not thou hast often sinned,
And sinful yet must be--
Deal gently with the erring then,
As God has dealt with thee."

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