Fanling Babies Home History
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1936 - Fanling Babies Home founded
1940 - 61 children and 16 staff members
1940 - China Children's
Fund rents Fanling estate
1941 - Japanese troops invade the home
1948 - Miss Clay joined Fanling Babies Home
112 children, 13 on average added per year
1951 - Christian Children's Fund takes over
1955 - Ms. Tsen joined as Assistant
1956 - 150 children including 8 boys
1962 - Planning for new Babies Home begun
1966 - Moved to Pine Hill Babies Home
1987 - Miss Dibden passes away in England
1992 - Original Fanling
buildings torn down
2004 - Miss Clay passes away in England
2008 - Ms. Tsen passes away in Hong Kong
Fanling Babies Home was started in 1936 by Miss Mildred Dibden
, a missionary from England as a Hong Kong children's home for the care
of abandoned and destitute babies.
Fanling Babies Home was sponsored first by the HK Evangelical Fraternity and friends
in Hong Kong, England and Canada. By 1955, the Home Council in England, Home Council in Canada, Hong Kong government grants
and Christian Children's Fund, Inc. provided the bulk of the funding.
Miss Lucy Clay
, a registered nurse and graduate of a missionary
training college, began as an Assistant in November 1948. She became the Superintendent when Miss Dibden returned to England
due to illness and subsequently stepped down. To the children, Miss Clay became known as "Auntie Kay."
Miss Clay was tasked
to implement a new policy to encourage the adoption of children at Fanling into Christian families. The adopted children found
families in Hong Kong, Canada, England, New Zealand, United States and other countries.
The estate, on Main Street in Fanling, was originally rented from an elderly Chinese landlord who had built the estate to accommodate
his family and relatives. Thus in addition to the main house, there were two other smaller houses. Each small house had
eight rooms and a kitchen. Lovely gardens surrounded the estate which also had a large yard that the kids could play in as well
as many fruit trees.
The ground floor on the main house consisted of five large rooms and three smaller rooms. The upstairs
contained seven bedrooms, adjoining dressing rooms and several verandas with a view of the lights of Hong Kong.
moved 49 children under the age of three from Cheun Chau to Fanling Babies Home in the New Territories. Toddlers were housed
downstairs while infants were upstairs. The size of the main house easily accommodated a nursery school, dispensary, bedrooms,
The estate was bought in 1946 by the Christian Children's Fund, formerly known as China Childrens' Fund. In 1951,
Christian Children's Fund took over full sponsorship and the operation of Fanling Babies Home.
Eventually, the Home became a
school dedicated to the care of handicapped children managed by Hong Chi Association.
Children stayed at Fanling until they were adopted or until they were ready to be transferred to Children's Garden at 9 years of age.
Children's Garden was owned and operated by Christian Children's Fund. The children lived in small family groups under
the care of a cottage mother and went to school. After turning 18 years old, suitable work was found for each child. Some
returned to Fanling Babies Home to work as nurses caring for the babies and young children.
In Tai Po, construction on a new
home began and the corner stone was laid May 23, 1965. It was first called Taipo Babies Home but by its completion was renamed
Pine Hill Babies Home. Fanling Babies Home closed and the staff and children moved to Pine Hill Babies Home by 1966.
total number of children cared for at Fanling Babies Home and Pine Hill Babies Home is not known. Estimates range in the
100's. When triple bunk beds were installed, several hundred children could be housed at a time. Over 500 children were