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Memorial plaque recognises the experience and contribution of all past students of Clontarf (both residents and day students).

The idea came from Old Boys who had visited the site and found there was no visible reminder of their time at Clontarf, or of the unique history of the college. A group of Old Boys approached the Christian Brothers’ Province Leader at that time, Br Kevin Ryan, who agreed to fund a history project and provided input during the planning process.

Clontarf Boy’s Orphanage was first established in Subiaco in 1872 and managed by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1897 the Christian Brothers assumed direction of the orphanage, taking care of 81 boys. A new site for an orphanage was sought, found and purchased on the banks of the Canning River in 1897. The foundation stone was laid in 1901. The boys who were at Clontarf between 1901 and the 1930's were usually aged between six and fourteen and the population ranged from 100 to 150 boys. The boys were accommodated and cared for, given a primary school education, religious teaching and basic training in manual skills and farm properties. Government funding for the boys was withdrawn at the age of fourteen and this was when boys left the home. Clontarf was named "Clontarf Boys Town" in 1941 by the then Archbishop of Perth. This was done to cash in on the fame of the Movie Boys Town that came out in 1938.


Address:295 Manning Road, Waterford, 6152
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.015136
Long: 115.893946
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 13th August, 2008
Front Inscription

Clontarf Boys Memorial.

St Joseph’s Boys Orphanage, Clontarf 1901 – 1941. Clontarf Boys’ Town 1941 – 1983.

Clontarf was home to many Australian and Child Migrant boys from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta. The boys worked with the Christian Brothers and and tradesmen to construct many of the buildings on this site. The chapel is an outstanding example of this work. Their contributions should not be forgotten. All will have their own personal experiences, but as you read this plaque, past residents, families and friends can be comforted in the knowledge that they are not forgotten.

This plaque was placed here by the Clontarf Old Boys in 2008.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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