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137 years of family ties

- November 29, 2011

The 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren of The Infants' Home's first ever resident in 1874, Sydney Hope, enjoy a tour of our premises and a personal trip into their family history.

From 1874 to 2011

At 8pm, on the 3rd of June, 1874 The Infants’ Home accepted its first orphan. He was christened Sydney Hope, for the town he was born in and the optimism his first carers had for his future.

Sydney Hope holding a child

Sydney Hope, aged 78, during a visit to The Infants’ Home in 1952


Sydney Hope not only grew up to become a successful businessman and a lifelong supporter of The Infants’ Home, but he also had his own family. Today, he is survived by six grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 13 great-great grandchildren.

Chance discovery leads to new knowledge of family history

The family knew little about their grandfather's life, but they were reunited with their history by chance .

The youngest grandchild of Sydney Hope, Lyn was at an exhibition in the Mitchell Library. She stumbled across something about The Infants' Home and recognised the name 'Sydney Hope'.

Lyn contacted The Infants' Home and the rest, as they say, is history.

Visit to The Infants' Home

After some calls and emails, and a little logistical planning, the family came to The Infants' Home for a special visit. They enjoyed a tour of the premises of our heritage-listed grounds, including Sydney Hope Family Cottage.

The Sydney Hope Family Cottage provides postnatal services for families. It was named after Sydney Hope, who became an enduring symbol of The Infants' Home's work with vulnerable children. 

The grandchildren said they had often wondered what life would have been like as an orphan for their grandfather all those years ago.

With their own children along for the journey, it was a trip down memory lane spanning 4 generations. 

The six grandchildren taking in the history of their grandfather

Sydney Hope's grandchildren (l to r) Terry, Di, Stan, Lyn, Bev and Barbara


"It means so much to find information about your ancestors, especially when your parents have passed away," says Stan Hope, Sydney’s eldest grandchild. 

"This would have meant so much to our father. It is a very special day."

One can only imagine what Sydney himself might have thought. 

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