Saturday, October 01, 2005

St. John's Orphan Asylum, Philadelphia, PA




Here is a picture of my twin brother Joe Bangert, and me Johnny. This old snapshot was taken in front circle of St. John's Orphan Asylum in Philadelphia, PA in 1955, 50 years ago.
















The next two photogarphs are of our mother, Deborah Leddy (Bangert), she too, was orphaned at a very early age.




This blog is dedicated to her lasting memory. May she, and all our beloved departed rest in eternal peace!

17 comments:

Tamar said...

I just want to say thank you for putting this site in place. It is most informative and a great meeting place for a number of reasons. My brothers were at St John's Orphan Asylum in the 60s... I am still trying to get a confirmation wherein what orphanage I was place... As a young girl, I believe it was St. Vincent's ... I have a photographic memory and the oddity is that the back of the St. John's Orphan Asylum looks soooo familiar... who knows maybe I was there on a visit... At any rate, I am currently writing a book and in part there within is the violence and abuse ... and even though I was eventually adopted, how they chose my parents, I will never know. I spent my entire life trying to dodge abuse in many forms... As sad as it sounds, it is a comfort to know I am not alone... but I would like to find others who dealt with the sexual abuse in the orphanages...and so if you have any information, or can lead me into that direction, I would be most grateful... <3 Have a most blessed day!

Na'ima Ball said...

Hi, my name is Na'ima Ball and I'm collecting information on St John's, if any of you be willing to give me some information please email me at naima.ball@yahoo.com. I have some questions that I like to be answer.

Na'ima Ball said...

Did you go to st john's because I wanted to ask someone who went to st john's some questions.

Ed Morgan said...

10/10/2012
Greetings:
My name is Ed Morgan. I was a resident of St. John's Orphan Asylum for Boys during the mid
1950’s. Some of my five brothers were also institutionalized at Saint John's. I have vivid memories of the asylum, the cafeteria, the school, the infirmary, the nuns and some other residents.I am available to answer inquirers through email- minister25@comcast.net.
Best wishes for a happy life.
Ed Morgan

Ed Morgan said...

10/10/2012
Greetings:
My name is Ed Morgan. I was a resident of St. John's Orphan Asylum for Boys during the mid
1950’s. Some of my five brothers were also institutionalized at Saint John's. I have vivid memories of the asylum, the cafeteria, the school, the infirmary, the nuns and some other residents.I am available to answer inquirers through email- minister25@comcast.net.
Best wishes for a happy life.
Ed Morgan

Ed Morgan said...

10/11/2012
Yes, SOME of the nuns at Saint Johns were cruel. I also survived physical, emotional, and verbal nun attacks. The sadistic methods utilized to maintain control of the residents cannot be justified. But I was subjected to far more terror, shame, and neglect at the hands of my parental caretaker. I received very little stability while living at home and was frequently denied most basic human needs. For me, home life was a much more turbulent and torture filled environment. At least the asylum provided a structured schedule of meals, schooling, and sleep.
Ed Morgan

Unknown said...

I was at St Johns from 1964-68.
I don't remember any abuse, except for maybe receiving a ruler whack on my hands. However, years later, I remember a comment my older brother wrote, in either a probation or pre-sentencing report, regarding harsher treatment, such as getting hit with a shillelagh by the nun who handled the kitchen. I have wondered if he might have been treated differently as a minority. I am white. He is half Mexican.
On the good side........ I learned to swim at St John's, although the PA blasting "Dominique", remain etched in memory, like "It's A Small World" sticks in your mind after leaving the Disney ride.

I remember annual Christmas party's at Palumbo's, which was only a block from my house in South Philly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palumbos. I also remember a Christmas party at United Airlines with Soupy Sales. While at St John's, I went to my first NBA game to see Wilt and the 76ers.

Unknown said...

I don't know why my last comments showed up as "unknown". I don't know how to change it.

Michael

Unknown said...

Ok, one more time.
My name is Michael
I can be reached at mrtravel@gmail.com

Lisa Estes-Dorrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Estes-Dorrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Estes-Dorrell said...

Debra Ann Estes, July 11, 1953
George Stuart Estes, July 6, 1954
John Joseph Estes, July 3, 1955


In the 1950's our father was in the Army and went AWOL, thus no income coming in for our mother to care for my siblings! Our mother was left at home with three children.

Our Uncle Mark was either visiting or living at the house, not sure about the situation. He decided to light a cigarette on the stove top! He and the house caught on fire; the kids suffered from smoke inhalation. Our mother had no were to turn; she tried to take the children to her parents, but our grandfather was suffering from emphysema, so they couldn't stay there; "the kids cried too much" is what I was told.

ORPHANAGE: St. Vincent's Catholic Home for Children (68th & Greenway, near Woodland Avenue) is were they were taken. I don't know if it was court ordered or not, by the Dept. of Human Services. Debra was in foster care for a while; the foster parents let our mother come and visit until the Dept of Human Services found out and they halted the visits. Not sure if my sister and brothers were ever actually adopted or spent their days in foster care.

Robert Mansell said...

Bob Mansell, Milwaukee, WI
My brothers and I were at St. John's, late 60's early 70's, and then to St. Joe's (Hut).
I recall two nuns to be abusive, who would beat us with a bamboo stick. One of the nuns would give us the opportunity to lay across the bed, and if we didn't, she'd intimidate other boys to hold you down, and she'd comment to how much harder the beating would be. And it was difficult to sit down for a long time after. The other nun would beat you wherever she could reach you, for not having the bed made in such a way that she could bounce a coin off of it.
There was another nun who was tom-boyish. She played every sport possible. She was really brutal. I recall her teaching 4th grade at Our Mother of Sorrows. Even outside the walls of St. John's, she was true to form. If you were a boy, you dropped you pants in front of the class (of boys and girls) and if your were a girl, you lifted your skirt and she'd swat you with the yard stick in front of the class. This was cruel and inhumane punishment. It was physical and psychological abuse.
Another nun who used what was called a cat-and-nine-tail, made up of nine belts. There was no way to escape those belts. And, at St. Joe's there was sexual abuse of boys by counselor(s) that trickled down from older boys to younger boys. Following St. Joe's, I joined a Religious Order of priests and brothers, only to be preyed upon and abused.

SHERMIKA ELLINGTON said...

iam looking for my older sister who was in St Vicents her name at the time was Rhonda-Jo Johnson, she was born between 66-69 on feb 3rd. my parents had vistiations with her every weekend until she was adopted. my parents and i have been looking for her well over 20 yrs. im not sure if her adoptive family changed her name. i know she was here in the late 60's early 70's. please if anyone knows her email me @ miko5574@yahoo.com.

SHERMIKA ELLINGTON said...

also my sister was born at temple university hospital. also can someone please tell me where the archives of st vincent is located. who can i contact about this. im really really want to find my sister!!

William Singley said...

I was there from 67-70 and I remember the Sixers , Soupy SLes and Palumbos, I’m from S Philly too

William Singley said...

Dillaplane?