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In the year 1864 this Institution was established under the patronage of Lieutenant-Governor Eyre and Bishop Courtenay, having for its object the providing of accommodation and relief for necessitous men of the Royal and Mercantile Marine. Its President was Admiral Sir Charles Hope, K.C.B., who distinguished himself as one of its chief supporters. The Vice-Presidents were Commodore Cracroft, R.N., the Hon. Edward Jordon, C.B., and the Hon. L. Q. Bowerbank, M.D. It was governed by a Board of Directors composed of fourteen of the most influential gentlemen of Kingston. The Rev. George Cheyne held the office of Honorary Secretary.
The Institution was maintained by annual subscriptions from the merchants and other leading members of the community and for some years prospered. But in the year 1879 it was found that while the contributions received were inadequate for the efficient support of the Home there were no means of preventing defalcations on the part of dishonest inmates and an appeal was made to the Government for aid. A law was thereupon passed by the Legislative Council, Law 30 of 1879, placing the Institution on a more substantial footing than before. A Corporate Body was established for the management of the Institution and the office of the Superintendent was created with definite powers. The principle on which Government grants were to be made was laid down to be that of a sum equal to double the total amount of voluntary subscriptions received during the previous year. Since then the Institution has annually received a liberal grant from the Government.
In 1889-90 the sum of £224.2s.6d was obtained from the Government, £149.2s.0d by subscription and donation, board of inmates £89.19s.3d., and from other sources £29.19s.1d....with a balance of £84.14s.2d brought forward from the previous year.....
The number of Seamen boarded during 1889-90 was 192; during the same period the Home afforded sleeping accommodation in 2,732 instances free of charges.
The Directors have succeeded in providing better accommodation for the inmates. Having purchased the premises No. 42 Church Street they have erected thereon suitable buildings at a cost of £1,065, and the same were formally opened by his Excellency Sir H. W. Norman on Thursday the 6th March, 1884. The new Home is calculated to afford accommodation to 20 Seamen and 4 Officers, divided into two classes, first and second.
Hon. Lieut.-Colonel C. J. Ward, C.M.G., Custos of Kingston, Chairman
William Malabre, Esq.
Hon. George Stiebel, C.M.G.
Capt. K. H. A. Mainwaring, R.N.
Capt. W. P. Forwood
Charles Goldie, Esq.
William Schiller, Esq.
Secretary:- Mr. D. M. Leon
Resident Superintendent:- Mr. A. E. Hart
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