In the coming months, as various matters proceed, the De La Salle Connection to modern St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, may well be relevant.
Originally, the school appeared to me to just be ‘In the La Sallian Tradition’. But my previous post featured information which indicated, to me at least, that there was still a La Sallian Connection.
Certainly the school is STILL listed as a La Sallian school.
Anyone who can shed further light on all this, do please let me have your thoughts. Any information will be treated in complete confidence and your anonymity respected.
Meanwhile, I’ve looked at two similar examples which I will shortly be citing to Catholic Safeguarding should the modern school disclaim or fail to acknowledge its past. Hopefully their moral compass will not make that necessary.
Firstly, Sherborne. A school previously run and owned by a transgenerational paedophile headmaster, Lindsay,it was sold for £1 (!) to the current school. Lindsay still maintained a close geographical connection with the school.
The current school Sherborne Prep School gained charity status and became a limited company.
Current chairman of governors at Sherborne Prep School, Nigel Jones, said: “It is a completely different financial, legal and governance organisation.
“We don’t know what happened (in Lindsay’s era) because we are not in any way party to things that went on.”
It would appear that St J’s Ipswich has a stronger connection to its past and I would hope they would not use a variation on these dismissive words of indifference to survivors.
The second example is Celtic Football Club who were criticised in a review. It, too, separated itself from its abusive past – in this case its junior club.
‘Celtic Boys Club also featured in often distressing personal accounts of sexual abuse.
Celtic FC has previously said that while it shares “historic contacts” with the boys club, the two are separate organisations.
But the review concludes: “If the relationship and history between the youth football club and the senior club was so shared, so close, and so inextricable then when sexual abuse of young players formed part of the history of one then it too formed part of the history of the other.
“A SHARED HERITAGE IS NOT CONFINED TO TROPHIES, VICTORIES AND CELEBRATION. IT ALSO EXTENDS TO DEFEATS, FAILURES, AND DEFICIENCIES.”’
I don’t see how anyone with any morality, never mind a Catholic, would disagree with the review’s conclusion and how this applies to our own school in a remarkably similar way.
This fairly widespread practice of attempted disassociation amongst schools and youth organizations that seek to remove themselves from their historic crimes is likely to come under increasing public scrutiny and criticism because it is so blatantly a financial ploy to evade responsibility and lacks real substance.
We, the survivors of the historic De La Salle St Joseph’s College, clearly have a shared heritage with the modern, still DLS connected, St Joseph’s College.
The history of one forms part of the history of the other.
And so we seek their acknowledgement of what has happened in the past.
Remaining silent with so many shocking abuse cases identified and confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt seems inexcusable.
I’m quite sure there’s a form of words which acknowledges the crimes of its past without accepting financial liability which, presumably, is a matter for the De La Salles.
I would urge today’s St Joseph’s College to respond now. Don’t wait to be fetched.