Holy Trinity Kindergarten - celebrating 75 years in 2020.

Holy Trinity Church was originally a branch of All Souls Sandringham and the original timber church, opened in 1910, was built on the land between where the Kindergarten and Vicarage now stand. Hampton became a separate parish in 1915 and in 1919 plans were drawn up for a kindergarten hall. Times were difficult due to the First World War and after several delays by the builder, parishioners decided to do the job themselves. The building was completed by volunteers, including the vicar and churchwardens, in time for the opening on 26th October 1920.

Holy Trinity grew strongly during the period between the two world wars, and, despite the collapsing economy preceding the Great Depression, a new brick church was opened in 1928. The original church building became the parish hall and was used for many activities, including Sunday School. The kindergarten hall was also used for younger Sunday School students. When World War Two broke out in 1939, many men and some women from Hampton joined the armed forces and, in many cases, served overseas. Life was not easy during the war, especially for young mothers whose husbands were away. There were many shortages and food, especially meat, milk, butter, cheese, sugar, rice, bacon, but also clothing, shoes and petrol were rationed, and only obtainable in very limited quantities with coupons issued to each household in a ‘ration book’.

In June 1945, the church commenced an afternoon creche operated by members of the ‘Fellowship of Marriage ’group on alternate Friday afternoons. Their stated aim was “to give young mothers an often much needed break for shopping or tennis”.     The Vicar, Reverend Alan Mee and his wife Leah had three young children and were well aware of the needs of young families. There was strong support in the parish after he published a series of articles over three months, called ‘Value of the Creche, Nursery Kindergarten and Kindergarten’ written by a Mrs Kemp. These articles were interesting and she seems well informed.

The war ended finally with the Japanese surrender on 15th August 1945, but rationing continued and most service personnel were still overseas. The parish paper of August 1945 proudly announced Holy Trinity Day Kindergarten will open on Tuesday 18th September and encouraged those wanting to enrol to ‘contact the Vicar at the earliest possible moment, as preference will be given to newcomers, as accommodation is, for the present, necessarily limited’. So Holy Trinity Church of England Free Kindergarten was born, one of the original three in the Diocese of Melbourne. 

The parish paper of the following month reported: The kindergarten opened on 18thSeptember and has at the moment on the roll 16 children. Mrs Robbins BA, Directress of the Kindergarten, assisted by Mrs Watson, is doing splendid work. There is much to be done by way of procuring equipment and improving our facilities, and with this in mind, an invitation is extended to the mothers of children attending the kindergarten to meet in the kindergarten hall on Tuesday afternoon, 9th October, at 2.30 pm, to discuss future developments. The Vicar would like to express his appreciation of the work done by Mr Gay for the Day Kindergarten. He has been most generous.  (Rather unfortunate name)

The following month’s report shows the success of this group and says ‘The Mothers’ Committee is working very interestedly and a successful card evening was held during the month at the home of Mr and Mrs Francis, Hastings Street. Mr and Mrs Francis gave the evening to raise funds for a sand pit, which is to be installed immediately. We give our thanks to them for their generosity.’

The paper for February 1946 advises that the term begins on 12th, while the parents’ committee meeting will be on Tuesday 5th at 9.30 am, and the fathers’ and parents’ work afternoon is scheduled for Saturday 9th at 2pm.The March paper reports that ‘everything is progressing most satisfactorily. For the information of parents our directress Mrs Robbins, with her vast experience as a qualified teacher, is bringing her special training to bear upon the lives of the children. The sand pit, climbing horse, tan on the paths are new acquisitions aiding in the appearance of the surroundings and new equipment has been provided inside the rooms. We are pleased to have, as a future teacher in training, one of our own girls, Miss Joan Henderson, who is assisting Mrs Robbins, also we are glad to have Mrs Watson as pianist. The article continues on to thank the successful operation of the Mothers’ Committee and thanks the men who worked on the sand pit and made numerous toys.

The April 1946 paper reports happily that ’The Day Kindergarten progresses most favourably, and the results of the training are now becoming evident in the children’. The article finishes with a request that  parents who may be able to assist by making (large) wooden blocks ‘according to plans’, should consult the Vicar.

In May the Mother’s Committee are congratulated on holding a fancy dress party, which raised an impressive 23 pounds ($46)   The June paper however expresses sadness at the acceptance of the resignation of Mrs Robbins, due to ill health. At a farewell gathering, the Vicar, on behalf of the Kindergarten, presented Mrs Robbins with a cheque; whilst on behalf of the mothers, the president, Mrs Francis, presented an electric heater; and Jennifer Earnshaw, on behalf of the scholars, presented a clock. The Vicar introduced the new directress, Mrs Sercombe, to the committee and explained that until she commenced her role, the Kindergarten would be in the capable hands of Mrs Holloway.

Despite these changes the kindergarten flourished, the waiting list grew and the fundraising efforts of the parents continued with enthusiasm. This include a bazaar which included pony rides, a theatre night to see ‘Dancing Years’ and a street stall in Hampton Street. They ran a successful cake stall at the Parish Fair over two days in November and also collected donations for the ‘Food for Britain’ Appeal. They later welcomed Mrs Taylor to the teaching staff. The creche had become popular and now operated weekly on Tuesdays ‘to give young mothers an opportunity once a week to leave their children for an hour or two whilst they pop into town to do a bit of shopping’. In November they thanked the anonymous donor who presented the Vicar with an interesting innovation, a self-propelling swing, and announced ‘our first trip to the health centre with our children’.

1947 continued to build on the successes of the foundation years with an advice that the roster would continue ‘as last month’ and announcing that ‘An American Tea (Bring a gift, buy a gift) will be held on 15th April at 2.30. All bring your friends. Six pence (five cents) for Afternoon Tea’.     This finished with a reminder that individual mats were required as soon as possible.

HT Kinder late 1940sThe parish paper for June 1947 recorded that in May a successful Tennis Tournament was held, and announced a Picture Night at Hoyts Picture Theatre, Hampton, with tickets (Back Stalls and Dress Circle) available from Mrs Thorneywork. The report concluded with the happy news that Kindergarten would resume on 3rd June.

The paper announced the follo
wing month that
‘- the work of the kindergarten goes satisfactorily’, adding that ‘the Afternoon Tea was successful and raised over four pounds ($8) for funds. The next big event advertised was the Bazaar, to be held on 19th September 1947 from 11am to 9pm, and featuring a toy stall, produce, drinks, and afternoon tea. The highlight was to be a clothing stall, featuring ‘clothing with coupon-free g
oods.’   Finally, the report says ‘On July 15th, Mrs Simpson gave a talk, “Do parents need guidance?” 

The parish paper of October 1947 praised and congratulated the kindergarten mothers, under the leadership of their President, Mrs Francis, on a most successful Fair. The Fair was opened by the former Mayoress of Sandringham, Mrs T.M. Grant, and raised ninety pounds ($180), a huge sum in those post-war days. 

The kindergarten continued to grow successfully and actively planned for improvements. A report announces; ‘Mrs Taylor visited North Melbourne Church of England Free Kindergarten and Kew City Council Kindergarten with Miss Griffiths, who also showed a group of mothers over the Lady Gowrie Child Centre at North Carlton. Arrangements are in hand for approaching the Health Department re Government subsidy. Miss Griffiths will give a talk on ’Running of Free Kindergartens’, at a special general meeting next Tuesday.’ A talk by a representative of the Parent Guidance Council was also scheduled for later in the week.

Countless children (including our own) have enjoyed ‘Holy Trinity Kinder’ over the seventy-five years of its operation. Many Directors and staff have nurtured them and many parents have contributed time and effort as volunteers.                                                                                                  I extend my congratulations to you all on this 75th Anniversary.
Graeme Disney.


Easter day service 2021
Sundays - 9.30am
 Holy Communion

With our Vicar Rev Dr Sharne Rolfe

Sundays - 9.30am HT Kids (during term time)
Tuesdays - 4pm Christian Meditation (resumes February 6th, 2024)
Thursdays - 9.30am playgroup (resumes February 1st, 2024)HTH Periwinkles Playgroup poster FA

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Holy Trinity Hampton

10 Thomas Street, Hampton, Victoria 3188
Phone: (03) 9598 1707
Email: vicar@holytrinityhampton.org.au

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