2016-07-14 / Around Town

Looking Back and Forward

In 1966, the Children’s Home of Newport (Child & Family) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the agency. Two open houses were held, one in August and one in November. Guests included then- Gov. John H. Chafee. After 100 years, the desire was to keep children in their own homes and the goals shifted to alleviating problems through professional counseling for families, providing a day care development center to give a few hours of rest to mothers who were struggling, and having a professional homemaker on 24 hours a day to keep a home running when children were temporarily without parents.

Looking forward, Child & Family will host a public Family Day Celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of its founding as the first social service provider in Newport County and as the second oldest in the state of Rhode Island. The celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 16, on Queen Anne Square next to Trinity Church. The event will commence at 11 a.m. with a public ceremony dedicating two engraved granite benches. The benches, generously donated by Memorial Funeral Homes, will have an engraved message designed by another historic Newport entity, the John Stevens Shop (est. 1705). The first bench will mark Child & Family’s 150th anniversary and celebrate the agency’s long history. The second will honor Trinity Episcopal Church (est. 1698) and its important historic role in the City of Newport. It is appropriate that both Child & Family and Trinity Church dedicate benches, as they celebrate a long-lasting relationship of working together in support of those in need throughout our community.


During Gov. John H. Chafee’s visit to the Children’s Home of Newport (Child & Family) in 1966 during its 100th anniversary celebration, the governor (far right) was welcomed by Noreen Drexel and Nuala Pell, advisory board members for the Children’s Home; Miles Santamour, director of the Children’s Home; and Nancy Peterson, president of the board. During Gov. John H. Chafee’s visit to the Children’s Home of Newport (Child & Family) in 1966 during its 100th anniversary celebration, the governor (far right) was welcomed by Noreen Drexel and Nuala Pell, advisory board members for the Children’s Home; Miles Santamour, director of the Children’s Home; and Nancy Peterson, president of the board. Immediately following the bench dedication, at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Family Celebration Day will kick off with food, music, activities for children, giveaways and a special appearance by Elsa and Anna of the movie “Frozen.”



Also during that open house visit, Gov. Chafee viewed photos at the 100th celebration with children of the home. Also during that open house visit, Gov. Chafee viewed photos at the 100th celebration with children of the home.

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