My thanks to Chris for giving us more of his valuable insights into his old order. SEE BELOW.

There’s a great deal there to reflect on which helps us all understand what was going on.

I probably misled you, Chris, on Brother Kevin. It looks like he went to France in 1968, so he wouldn’t have been in Jersey in 1960 (unless he went through the escape line twice) But all the other dates fit with Old Boys’ recollections and my own.

Although Solomon was expelled from the Order in 1966 and Beulah Hill and went on to have a short-lived pop career, it sounds like he came back to Beulah Hill as a layman in 1971.

If so, that would explain why so many Beulah Hill Old Boys had confusing dates on him.

Yes, I agree that the DLS education was brilliant for many pupils. Good to know about Professor Pollard. There were several famous and successful Old Boys contemporary with me at St Joseph’s Ipswich.  They’ve never spoken out about what happened there, although we all of us knew about the abuse. It was everywhere. I’m sure the reason is connected with their success in life. They don’t want to bite the hand that fed them.

By comparison, I’ve realized my own DLS education was actually rather poor – especially in the subjects I excelled at: History and English. I basically taught myself in those subjects. Then I became a magazine journalist and received a brilliant training when I was 20.  Consequently, my own modest success in life is very much counterculture and anti-establishment. Thus I regularly lecture at universities and war museums (even the Imperial once!) with an anti-war message and my popular culture comics, novels and other media work are known for their subversive sub-text.

I’m sure my life choices are all connected with experiencing abuse at the hands of clerics, DLS and the Knights of St Columba. It left me with a deep suspicion of authority and the establishment. But it’s worked out okay for me. I managed to turn lead into gold. Sadly, so many other victims of Catholic abuse were not so lucky and I grieve for them to this day.

Thanks again, Chris, for opening up to us all!

Kevin Dillon, who was required to resign from his Post in Ipswich by Brother David Hennessy (before the latter became a priest, and is now dead) would have been a very young teacher in Jersey in 1960, as was Solomon, who was expelled by the Order in 1966 ish, just before I went there as a boy in First Year of the Grammar School. In about 1971 he came to Beulah Hill Solomon landed back in Ipswich as a layman, for disgraceful reasons; the community was in some ways a rogue one by 1977 as they had refused the command of the then Provincial Brother Leo Barrington to become a Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School for the whole of the city of Ipswich. They took the now layman on as a teacher but was again dismissed from the school by a fine man, Brother Damian Roe. Dozens of brothers, literally, taught in the schools of Jersey, Bournemouth, London, Portsmouth and Ipswich from 1945 to about 1990. In my opinion, the biggest disgrace is the cover up with regard to the individuals (albeit a minority) of abusers. Men like this tend to be quite cunning and the rest of us in the rank and file did not know what was going on, beyond a sense of unease, which we were too reticent to share with outside agencies or with the ecclesial authorities at higher levels. The stories of beatings should, again in my opinion, be put in a context of a time before corporal punishment was abolished in circa 1987. The violent behaviour was often, I am sure, a product of sexual and psychological suppression for many. The anecdote about the luxurious life styles (examples given of the copious amounts of drink and food in the refectories rings true, of course. A question which I ask of myself regularly, which I posted two days ago, is whether the effort of educational advance for young men in this country in the De La Salle (FSC) schools was worth it, since one evil does not outweigh the good (in catholic theology?) but, and there is always a but, maybe Professor Andrew Pollard (Head Boy at St Peter’s Bournemouth 1982) is correct to attribute his successes to the Brothers and lay staff in that school, which he attended from circa 1975 as a prep school boy to 1982. He is the vaccine man btw.

4 thoughts on “DE LA SALLE MEMORIES

  1. Kevin Dillon was sexually abusing me at St Joseph’s in 1969 up until May or June of that year. He moved that summer – he wasn’t there when we came back in September 1969. The reason I recall is that my mother died in the late spring of that year and Bro. Kevin was the man tasked with telling me, as a boarder, what had happened to her.

  2. Hi Solomon definitely did not come to Beulah Hill in 1971 as a layman; might have landed up in Ipswich (St Joseph’s Birkfield) in the 1970’s.and I met the then Mercado in about 81’/82 in the dining room there; he was turned down for re entry into the Order in 1979 to 1980 school year,, to my certain knowledge, by the then District Council for the ‘London District (Province(
    I was practically a member of the Brothers’ Community in 1971, after my O Levels that summer

  3. Please consider this an acknowledgement of your post. As a boarder at St. Peter’s, Bournemouth, from Jan 1956 to July 1967, I was present when some of the sexual abuse discussed here was going on. I only know that now thanks to the efforts of Pat Mills and his growing team of corroborators. I and my close friends at St. Peter’s were utterly unaware of any sexual abuse. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t going on, but I can’t confirm it did.

    The corporal punishment that you refer to certainly did play a big part in daily school life. Rattan canes, fists and bare hands were routinely used. Blackboard dusters too. As to whether this was legal at the time, who knows? The legal status of things in those days was not often a topic of conversation, certainly not in my circles. Abuse certainly was widespread and few are the St. Peter’s boarders with no scars to show for it.

  4. I don’t see how the corporal punishment can be put in the context of it being legal then. It was much more force than necessary; random and there was no punishment book as required then by law. The beatings were not done with a regulation cane… they were performed with items illegal even then to use, plimsoles, sawn off chair legs and bare hands and fists, and of course the blackboard duster.
    Also much of what I’ve posted is accurate about Br Solomon, but seems to be contested.
    As no one seems to acknowledge any of my posts I may as well withdraw from the group.

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