Volume 1: Sydney Female Refuge Society meeting minutes, 15 February 1864 - 30 December 1864

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In 1848 the Sydney Female Refuge Society was established to provide a home for women escaping from prostitution and for young unmarried girls who fell pregnant. This collection includes the digitised pages of three 'minute books' from the Society records. The refuge was established on 21 August 1848 by those concerned at the level of pregnancies outside marriage and resulting from prostitution. The Committee which set up the refuge made it clear that Sydney was no worse than other cities around the world but that it did have unique problems.

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At a meeting of the Ladies General Committee held at the Refuge on Friday the 5th Febuary 1864

Present: Mrs. Allen , Mrs. Gagleston Mrs. Reed , Mrs. John Thompson and the Secretary

A letter was read from the Secretary of the Gentleman's Committee stating that the present debt including the building fund is upwards of £ 1000 £ 300 of which is due to Mr Caldwell The Gentlemen urgently request that the ladies will adopt some plan by which a portion may be cleared off as speedily as possible.

The Secretary mentioned that the deputation had visited on the Colonial Secretary and that he had promised to have their charity placed on the special estimates which was at that time being proposed

The Matron mentioned that there was much more work to be done than could be accomplished by Fanny and it was therefore resolved that Lizzy Humbers whose probation has expired should be offered 8/ per week in order to retain her services for this Laundry and that after a few weeks if it has been found satisfactory to employ her she shall have 9/ per week.

Milinda Rivers having been in the institution for nearly two years is was determinded that she be permitted to attend Divine Worship out of the building and have a few days holiday to go to a friend of Mrs Bakers at Five Dock

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Mrs Allen proposed Mrs Murnin & Mrs John Mackenzie as Members of own Committees and this Secretary was asked to communicate with these Ladies Mrs John Thompson agreed to ask Mrs Joseph Thompson also & inform the Secretary before the next meeting. 25 inmates in the Houses At the meeting of the Ladies General Committee held at the Refuge on Friday the 4th March 1864. Present Mrs Murnin Mrs Thomas Smith Mrs Joy Mrs John Thompson Mrs Williams Mrs John Dawson Mrs Reed & The Secretary Minutes of previous meeting read and signed Sub Committee Report read Tabular Report & Daily journal read.

There was no business to transact. The Secretary mentioned that four ladies were required to fill the places of those ladies who had retired. The following ladies were proposed It was unanimously agreed that this Secretary should write and ask them to become members of this committee. Madames Joseph Thompson Betsfrech [indecipherable] Blassi [indecipherable] & John Hay.

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At a meeting of the Ladies General committee of held at this Refuge on Friday this 1st April 1864. Present Mrs Breillat Mrs Foss Mrs Smith Mrs Speer Mrs Dawson Mrs Joseph Thompson Mrs Hay Mrs John Thompson Mrs Murnin Mrs Robinson Mrs Joy Mrs Miller Mrs Reed Minutes of previous meeting read [text crossed out] Sub Committee Report Tabular Report and Daily Journal Reads.

Three girls were admitted. One of these had been in this House for a short time while Mrs Webster was Matron and since then for a few weeks in the house of the Good Shepperd

Christina Neilds from Maitland is only 12 years old. She has at one time been attending the Ragged School in Sussex Street but states some woman induced her to leave her parents and go to Maitland.

A letter read from Mrs Pitt Isabella Phillip's mother, demanding her daughter. But as the girl does not wish to go home it was marked to get her a situation for her out of Sydney.

Resolved that a letter be sent to Mrs Pitt informing her that Isabella prefered being in service

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At a Special Meeting of the Ladies General Committee held at the Refuge on Tuesday. Present Mrs Allen Mrs Hay Mrs Foss Mrs John Dawson Mrs Breillat Mrs Murnin Mrs Joy Mrs John Thompson Mrs Tucker Mrs Reed Ms Macintyre Mrs Joseph Thompson Mrs Speer Mrs G Widan

The Secretary . Minutes of previous meeting read. Daily journal. Sub Committees Report & Tabular Report read.

A letter was read from the Secretary of the Gentlemen's Committe requesting the Ladies to endeavour to collect £400 & stating that to the Gentlemens report to be able to collect the same amount in order to liquate the debt on the Building which at present is about £500.

Resolved that each lady endeavour to raise £25 and that collecting cards be sent to those Ladies who were absent.

It was agreed that the Ladies Committee meet at 3 o clock during winter months

Last edit over 1 year ago by lrenshaw
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