Starting life as a Presbyterian Manse, 107 Barkly Street or ‘Glenbank’ as it is affectionately known has been a part of and served the Mornington peninsula for 144 years.
Rev. J.A. Caldwell, St. Andrew’s Church, Mornington built Glenbank in 1875 and raised eight children while serving the Mornington Peninsula for 28 years.
In 1918, the Caldwell family sold Glenbank Mansion to Mrs Andrew Kerr who purchased the house as a memorial to her son Sgt Andrew Kerr whom was killed in action in WWI at Fleur-baix, France, 1916. And so, in 1921, Glenbank started its next chapter as a Memorial Home for Children, with the Governor General Lord Forster opening the home on October 27th. For the next 19 years, Glenbanks purpose was to be a holiday home for homeless children from all walks of life.
In 1941, due to declining finances, the Mission of St James and St John took over the running of the home and to continue the care of orphaned or disadvantaged children.
However, in 1978, the Mission of St James and St John closed the Children’s Home and issued instructions that the property be put up for Auction in nine separate lots. Two years later, Mornington Bush Nursing Hospital purchased the nine lots at a cost of $327,000 which included “Glenbank”, the cream brick buildings that were the original dormitories of the orphanage, the garages and workshops as well as the Manager’s residence. And in 1981, reopened Glenbank as a day care centre for the aged.
In 1989, a thirty-bed hostel was opened by the then Honourable Prime Minister, R.J. (Bob) Hawke with the first residents entering the Hostel in 1990.