ORPHANS who attended the Roman Catholic Orphan School in Parramatta between 1847 to 1886 will be remembered with Bonney Djuric’s commemorative quilt.
Over seven months, Djuric embroidered 130 crosses which were attached to the quilt to symbolise children who died at the orphanage — often to be forgotten.
“I used black crosses for the girls and red crossed for the boys and they are about eight inches high,” she said.
“I sewed the year of their death, their age and name into these crosses. I then sewed the crosses on to a naturally coloured calico fabric to represent the colour dyes of that time.”
Djuric gathered orphan names from cemetery records.
“You can’t get all the records as the Catholic Church are reluctant to release the names so I looked at the death records and the local Parramatta cemetery and I found a lot of children who were orphans at the institution were buried in that cemetery,” she said.
Djuric’s research was used to help a Melburnian find his forebears who were admitted to the school in 1859.
“In 2008 I was contacted by Tony Butler who was trying to find information on his ancestors,” Djuric said.
“Around this time I had begun gathering cemetery records and through this located Eliza Day who died at the orphanage in December 1862.
“Eliza had been overlooked in the family history, I guess because she had died, so her story ended there, but it was nice to put the pieces together in finding her resting place.”
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