Saint John Bosco Home for Boys
History of the Saint John Bosco Home
Tylar Bertie, group member, and several boys from the St. John Bosco Home for Boys, under a tree In the latter part of 1958 a generous donations from an anonymous benefactor enabled the Sister of Mercy to purchase a 32-acre property in the country district of Hatfield, Manchester in Jamaica. The sum donated was sufficient not only to purchase the land, but also to begin a building to house the school. This facility was designed to offer residential care for a maximum of 70 boys between the ages of 7-14.

The St. John Bosco Approved School was blessed and officially opened on January 31, 1960. The Sisters worked with a board of Directors and the school progressed satisfactorily, offering additional trade training in woodwork, tailoring, and auto mechanics.

Towards the end of 1965, the school was beset by staffing problems, and the Sisters changed the status of the institution from an Approved School to a Children's Home.

In August 1966, the institution began to operate as St. John Bosco Children's Home. At that time, 60 boys were transferred to Bosco from the junior home at Alpha Boys' School in Kingston.

In 1975, A Christian Brother from the New York Province was appointed as Administrator of the Home. In 1977, two Sisters of Mercy, Sister Susan Frazer, RSM, and Sister Mary Gray, RSM, came to work at St. John Bosco. At that time the population was 103 boys.

A basic school was set up, specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the children. The program was set up so that each child could progress at his own rate despite his chronological age. The older boys attended local schools, or were transferred to Alpha to learn a trade.

The children worked on the farm, which provided citrus, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, pumpkins, yams, and corn. Surplus produce was sold to the local community and the money used to purchase books and learning materials for the school. The children also raised a few rabbits and pigs, learning about caring for animals while providing meat for the table.

The structure originally built to house 70 is now home for 150 kids between the ages of 3-16. The administrative team runs the Home under the leadership of Sister Susan Frazer, RSM.

St. John Bosco now operates it's own school program approved by the Ministry of Education, with classes comprised of kindergarten, pre-primary, grades 1&2, and the Adolescent Development Program prior to trade training. All textbooks, school supplies and teachers' salaries were still generated through grant writing, and donations.

Return to [ Bosco Home Homepage | WSU's Homepage ]
Please send comments to Nicholas Barnard.

This page was last updated on Thursday, January 31, 2002 at 4:02 AM EST by Nicholas Barnard
General Site Design by Nicholas Barnard
Copyright © 2002