PERTH, Australia — It all started in 1999 on a holiday to London, Israel and South Africa where I met up with many of my brothers and sisters from Arcadia, The South African Jewish Orphanage, where I had spent my childhood from age 3 to 17 (1956-1969). They entrusted me with their photos of our stay in Arcadia and on my return to Perth, Western Australia, I compiled a cut and paste photo album which I photocopied and distributed widely.
This got the ball rolling and soon Ex Arcadians from around the world were writing to me to thank me for the album and sharing their memories. The older generation asked “What about us?” and I encourages them to send in their photos and to share their memories too. I compiled further cut and paste and photocopied albums and Arcadia Memory booklets and each publication generated more interest.
2006, the centenary of Arcadia was approaching, and I announced that I would be compiling an Arc (Arcadian) Centenary Book and more memories flowed in, partly through the internet.
100 Years of Arc Memories, a 530 page book with many photos, and containing the memories of over 100 children, was published in 2006 and this stimulated another large inflow of memories. Perhaps the skeptics were impressed and now wanted to be part of this coming out.
In 2007 I retired and in 2008 More Arc Memories with almost 600 pages was published. It contained the memories of 96 children and also the details of 17 Ochberg Orphans.
The Ochberg Orphans were a group of 177 rescued from the horrors of the Pale of Settlement and brought out to South Africa in 1921 by Isaac Ochberg, the representative of The South African Jewish Community. They were originally known as the Ukrainian War and Pogrom Orphans and half were placed in the care of Arcadia (the South African Jewish Orphanage) and half in Oranjia (The Cape Jewish Orphanage).
by David Solly Sandler