The century-old building that has been the Farrs Children’s Home since 1967 is now the Marina Brewster Centre at Farrs.
The refurbished St Peter home was officially opened yesterday by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to the beat of music and dance by wards of the home.
Appearing in a performance and choreography by Dance 4Life, the children thrilled those seated under a tent on the landscaped grounds, eliciting compliments from director of the Child Care Board Joan Crawford, and Christopher Holder, chairman of the home’s benefactor, the Maria Holder Trust.
Named in memory of Maria Holder’s daughter and wife of the trust’s co-founder Chesterfield Brewster, the sprawling facility provides new living space for its wards, accommodation for staff and live-in caretakers, and a commercial level kitchen – all designed by Selby, Rose and Mapp Architects and built by China State Construction.
The Holder Trust has donated over $25 million to various organisations since being founded in 2007, said Christopher Holder.
“Of the projects we’ve done, this is certainly one of the bigger ones, a very worthy one for these lucky children . . . .
“One of our key focuses is on education and on children, and we’ve already built one nursery school and are looking to build another six, so Government will need to recruit more teachers,” he added to loud applause.
Prime Minister Stuart described the trust as a true example of the modern definition of philanthropy.
Noting the building had been erected in 1910, serving as a hospital and doctor’s residence before becoming a home to 30 abandoned children in 1967, Stuart said some former residents had made significant contributions to the society in the nursing profession and the banking and hotel sectors.
“From its early days this building was used to help people, and 100 years later it is still very much the case,” Stuart added as he led a tour of the building accompanied by Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett and Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. (RJ)