The BHCARA Virtural On-Line Museum 

Take a look through the extensive collections of the BHCARA. This collection has been built by donations, gifts and by CEO Lori Oschefski. All items in this museum are held by the BHCARA. Some items are currently on display at the Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Ontario. Other items are on long term loan to the Candian Museum of History (formally the Musum of Civilization) in Quebec. Items not on loan are used in our comprehensive exhibits at our presentations.

All digital images are copy right to the BHCARA and must not be used without permission and credit. Please contact the BHCARA for information on use of these images.


Page under construction LOTS still to be added!!

The Winifred Payne Collection

Purchased at auction in 2014 by Lori Oschefski, this collection is currently on loan to the Canadian Museum of History (formally the Museum of Civilization) in Quebec for inclusion in an exhibit on immigration opening pn Canada 150 July 1 2017

The Cecil Bennett Collection

Donated to the BHCARA by Wilda Hay of Peterborough, Ontario, this collection is currently on loan to the Candian Museum of History (formally the Museum of Civilization) in Quebec for inclusion in an exhibit on immigration opening the end of 2016 early 2017. Cecil arrived in Canada throught the Dr. Barnardo Homes in 1905. His first placement is unknown. He would be placed with a kind farmer, Ben Johnstone where he was well cared for, educated and treated as family. Mr. Johnstone carefully kept all documentation regarding Cecil, which follows from the time Mr. Johnstone applied for a boy from Barnardo's through to Cecil's death in the First World War. Cecil perished on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.This remarkable collection was donated to the BHCARA by Mr. Johnstone's Granddaughter by Wilda Hay and is cared for at the Canadian Museum of History.










The Ronald Chamberlain Collection


Although Ronald Chamberlain lived in Canada since he was sent here by Barnardo’s at the age of ten, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War, married and had children in Canada, it wasn’t discovered until much later in his life that he wasn’t a Canadian Citizen. He had to apply for and finally received his Citizenship in 1976.

Ronald’s father and his mother, Maud’s fiancée, Jack Bradshaw, was a British soldier who was killed in action during the First World War. Maud, who already had another child and was not receiving child support ordered by the court from the father, was forced to live with her parents. They lived in abject poverty – the only means of support was her 73 year old father’s old age pension. Maud was only able to get occasional odd work.

Maud applied to Barnardo’s for admission of Ronald, so that she could seek work as a domestic. “She was proved to be of weak will and totally unfitting to bring up her two boys” (Barnardo’s admitting papers).

And although Martha, Maud’s sister, who was married and had family of her own, was willing to raise the boys along with her  sons, she was denied. 

On the farms in Canada, Ronald had good and bad experiences: one place did not provide him with socks (which gave him trouble with his feet his whole life) and treated him as a farm hand, at best, but there were also kind people – people who treated him like family.  

Ronald served in the Second World War as a Wireless Operator and Gunner in the RCAF and was shot down over Germany in April, 1944. He parachuted out of the plane, landing on railroad tracks and injuring his hips and back. He remained a Prisoner of War until his liberation in May, 1945. 

Ronald’s brother Reginald was sent to Australia and they never met again. They missed seeing each other during the war when they both visited the home of their aunt Martha, apparently within five minutes of each other.

Ronald and his wife, Beatrice had six children and seventeen grandchildren. They were married for over fifty years.

Penny Boxes

Penny boxes were distributed to homes in England as a means of fund raising for the various organizations. Community members were encouraged to put their spare change in the boxes. Periodically the organization representatives would come around and collect the change from the boxes. Penny boxes were made from a variety of materials, early ones from wood and Papier Mache. Newer boxes would be made from Ceramic and then plastic. Our penny boxes are on loan to the Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. 

Bibles, Prayer Books and Pilgram's Progress Books

Good Conduct and Roll of Honour Medals

Barnardo's First World War Booklet

original dontated to Dawn Heuston, the BHCARA reserves the rights to the digital images


William Baker Technical School Post Card Collection

This vintage post cards were purchased for the BHCARA by members Betty Ansel, Cathy Southworth Rioux and Cheryl Toms. They give us a wonderful view of what life was like for the boys in Barnardo's. 12 postcards in this collections.

National Children's Home and Orphanage post card collection

Orphan Homes of Scotland - Book of Views

Take a vintage stroll through the Quarrier's Orpan Homes of Scotland in our vinatage 1907 "Book of Views". This booklet was produced by Quarriers, photographed in 1906, as a souvenir for visiters to the Village. This booklet was purchased by BHCARA in 2013. There are 57 photos to view here, press the arrows on the right and left hand sides to move back and forth in this book. 

Dr. Barnardo Homes Collection Try and Tin

Dr. Barnardo Homes Collection tin and tray. Claimed by the seller to be First World War era, no definate dating of objects. Pre 1922 as per the address on the tin of 18 26 Stepney Causeway, the address of the Dr. Barnardo's Homes in the earlier years. 

All content © BHCARA 2019