There’s no place like home

Published 8:19 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009

There’s nothing quite like coming home.

But, “home” for the 170 gathered at Troy’s Colley Senior Complex Saturday doesn’t have quite the same connotation as it does for many.

Because, for at least a little while, these individuals spent some of their childhood in the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home, a place that becomes home for children who find themselves in trying situations.

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“I came in 1953 because my mother had died, and my father was unable to take care of us,” said Lillian Corely, president of the Baptist Children’s Home Alumni Association, once located in Troy. “Before my mother died, she was a strong supporter of the home, and she told my dad if anything ever happened to her, she wanted him to take us there.”

And the children’s home soon became a place where Corely felt like she belonged.

“It was a very positive experience for me,” Corely said. “I always felt love and guidance and encouragement here.”

Corely, along with hundreds of others who have gone through the local children’s home, came back for a reunion, something the group does tri-annually.

“Today is just a homecoming. It’s not for any particular age group,” Corely said. “We just spotlight people who were former residents here.”

There were visitors there who had come in the 1930s to the home, and there were those who were there in the 1980s.

Baskum Holland, a now resident of Florida, spent 1946 to 1952 at the children’s home in Troy.

Holland said he hasn’t come back every year since then, but every three years since 2000, he has come to reunite with the people he grew up with.

“It was a good place to be, that’s for sure,” Holland said.

The residents began with a program from 10 a.m. to noon, and ended the day with lunch, softball, watermelon and fellowship.