Our History

St George’s Home for Boys, situated on 50 acres of land on top of a hill overlooking Bedfordview, was founded in 1915 especially for boys whose families were broken by the first World War.

During the early 1980’s civil unrest and the economic downturn in the country had a huge impact on the Home. In the first published report on the Village, Douglas Green mentioned that the problem of balancing the budget of the Home became more and more problematical.

 

The concept of building a retirement village was born. The idea was conceived by St George’s Home Executive, Nick Pretorius and his Bedfordview Rotarians and the St George’s Old Boys Association. The objective of the scheme was to provide their beloved St George’s Home with a source of income.

 

Douglas Green, a well-known businessman, was the chairman of the committee that was formed to develop the concept. They were involved in ‘setting suitable agreements for the sale of Life Right and setting up a Section 21 Company under the Companies Act, the St George’s Village Management Association totally controlled by the St George’s Home.’

 

The attractive Village was built in Cape Dutch Style and in 1986 the first Villagers moved in. These pioneering Villagers worked hard as a team to get the Village established. They were encouraged to plant trees which have a history of their own, and the birds moved in!

 

By the end of the 80’s boys were being placed in the Home by the court. Financially the Home was struggling. The Home closed in 1990 and the school, Bishop Bavin, took over the beautiful building and opened its doors. This was a sad day for the Villagers as there was a special relationship and interaction between the Villagers and the S.G.H. boys – they shared so much.

 

A decision was taken by the Anglican Diocese to form COACH – the Coalition of Anglican Children’s Homes: a consolidation of St George’s, St Nicholas and St Joseph’s Homes. Government changes in laws forced the Anglican Diocese to make changes. It was then that Grace Village Management was formed as a normal company with no concessions. It ensures that the Village is maintained to an excellent standard. S.G.V.M.A. continues to manage the Village just like a ‘Body Corporate.’

 

From a quote in Douglas Green’s first report on the Village in 1987 we are still able to say:

the Village can settle down to their day-to-day enjoyment of retirement.