British Home Children commemorated

By Susan Hall, contributor

September 28th is National British Home Child Day. This year we are commemorating the arrival of the first Home Children to Canada 150 years ago by launching a campaign called “Beacons of Light for British Home Children and Child Migrants”.

The “Knowlton Distributing Home”, located at what is now the corner of Lakeside and Hillside Roads, was a receiving and distributing home for children coming to Canada through Louisa Birt and the Liverpool Sheltering Home. From 1877 until 1915 almost 6,000 children passed through the home. Some of the children were adopted but most became indentured farm labourers and domestics in and around the Eastern Townships.

To commemorate this day In Knowlton, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the home of the Louisa Birt memorial plaque, Creek United Church, Knowlton United Church and BCHS museum will be lighting up in red, white and blue on September 28th.

Buildings and bridges across Canada will be lighting up in red white and blue. Descendants of these children will be lighting up their homes as well in memory of their British Home Child.

“It is of interest to note that Knowlton playwright Laura Teasdale, wrote and directed a highly acclaimed play called Home Child. It was first performed in Coldbrook Park in August 2016, and subsequently in many other locations in the region.”