BROTHER JAMES – MOVING FORWARD

I’ve written many times about Brother James Ryan of my old school St Joseph’s College, Ipswich from 1960 to the late 1960s, after which he went to Beulah Hill. He was a serial sex offender and a notorious violent abuser – his excessive and terrifying use of corporal punishment was infamous. Both in Ipswich and in Beulah Hill.

He sexually abused me and two other St J’s Ipswich pupils. And possibly a further pupil. All our testimonies are on this site.

This and much more are still with Operation Hydrant and it’s still – theoretically – with this ‘independent investigation’ commissioned by the De La Salles which I haven’t heard from after seven months. I waited all this time to be sure; my questions were not answered, so it’s clearly not going to happen.

Of course we all know the DLS files will be bulging with allegations against James, but the DLS are never going to admit that or give us access.

So that’s enough. Their time is up.

This matter is now being taken further.

As you will appreciate, it wouldn’t be sensible for me to go into all the details here, but you’ll doubtless be able to join the dots yourselves. If you’d like to know more, you can email me and I’ll tell you what I can.

I chose James because he abused me personally and because there are the statements of others confirming his crimes.  And because of his clearly sociopathic nature. He genuinely needed psychiatric help.

As we all know, there are many other DLS abusers, but in a crowded field of contenders, James was arguably the worst.

With such an individual, and such a crime,  the more witnesses, directly or indirectly, the better. 

There are several layers to this, but, please – ALL of you are important and what you may have to say could be relevant and make all the difference.  Needless to say your anonymity is guaranteed.

I’m looking for:

1)Anyone else who was sexually abused by Brother James – in whatever manner, ‘minor’ or ‘serious’ – please get in touch with me in confidence. There are options for you to consider that I can describe to you. I stress your anonymity is ensured.

2)If you know of any sexual assaults by Brother James on other pupils at Ipswich, Beulah Hill, or elsewhere – do please get in touch.  Even ‘hearsay’ could be relevant because it could be followed up.

3)I’ve guestimated there are TEN cases of extreme violence by James on this site. You may have already related them on this site. Often they make horrifying reading.

Once again, do please get in touch with me direct. E.G. Confirming a past testimony you made or relating a new one. They are regarded as secondary to sexual violence, but they may still be significant , relevant and important.

And they help build a composite picture of this man.

4)If you were sexually abused by a lay teacher or a DLS brother who was contemporary with James, do also get in touch.

I’m thinking, particularly, of Brother Kevin and Brother Solomon.  But there may be others.

 In this context, it would be Brother Kevin in early years 1960 – 1965 approx.  (Rather than his later era at Oak Hill). Ditto Solomon 1959 – 1962 approx (Rather than his subsequent era at Beulah Hill and return as Mercado)

It builds a picture of just what was going on at St J’s when Brother James was abusing children sexually and physically. There may be some relevant detail that could be useful– E.G. location.

For instance, I remember him making threats like ‘I will give you six on the bare’. And ‘I will give you six in your pyjamas’.

Both these threats I remember were said with a questionable relish.  Anyone else recall this?  It suggests the cross-over from legitimate corporal punishment into something very different.

It may also be important if things develop  from James to a much wider scenario.

James may just be the starting point.

It would be premature for me to say more on this post, but I can enlarge privately.

5)Any general information you recall about James may be useful, even if you didn’t witness or were the victim of his abuse. Just to build up a character portrayal of this man.

Thus I recall him as my form teacher 1B in 1960. Brilliant Maths teacher for someone as hopeless as I was! An okay ‘deeply religious’ Scripture teacher. He took over as Prefect of Discipline from Solomon, approx 1961 and probably held the post until 1966. He was a loner who IIRC looked helpless and lost when a St J’s boy in 1962 had a serious bike accident on Stonelodge Lane.  He was a fanatical advocate for vocations. He was never shy or timid to my knowledge as claimed in his obituary, now removed. He was also provably sectarian and anti protestant. He was Irish and IIRC was an ex DLS pupil himself.

Anything anyone would like to add could be put on this post or sent to me. For example – did he sleep in one of those cubicles at the end of a dormitory? Which ones?  Did he ever supervise games, showers etc?  I don’t remember him doing so, but I was a day boy. Did he go on any of those school holidays abroad?

6)I’m going to write to some important figures to gain more information and possible support, regarding James.

We’re moving forward at last. It’s finally happening.

 It’s time the truth about this dark period of St J’s history was revealed. With your help it could be.  No more cover-ups and dismissing it as ‘all in the past, those were different times, it never did me any harm, and I don’t remember a thing, and why can’t these troublemaking Old Boys just get over it, move on and get a life?’

So many boys were harmed by this man as part of a continuum of serious physical and sexual abuse by the De La Salle brothers.

I really do believe the truth sets us all free.

 BROTHER KIERN – THE WORST ABUSER?

Brother Kiern is described below by an Old Boy of Oak Hill. Kiern was on temporary secondment to Oak Hill, maybe that’s why we haven’t heard of him before. But making children play PE and swim in the nude is very disturbing.

The Old Boy also indicates Kiern was unpredictably violent and had other ‘abnormalities’.

If anyone has anything to add on this man it could be relevant and I’ll certainly pass it onto the SCOE Safeguarding people – although I’ve yet to receive a reply and discover what current progress they are making.

Brother Kevin may have been absent in 86/87 when he went to France to escape justice. Part of the De La Salle Rat Run that has been discussed on an earlier blog.

If Safeguarding are trying to ignore us all that would be a mistake because I’m not giving up until the De La Salles have properly acknowledged their crimes and publicly hung their heads in shame.

A terse ‘sorry for whatever’ posted rather late on an obscure website doesn’t cut it and they should know it.

Hello Pat, I was in the same year as Zach, we were friends and partners in crime (small fish). What surprises me is that the worst abuser in our time at ‘Oak Hill’ has not been mentioned nor hinted at. Bro Kevin was absent in 1986/1987 for at least a term but a certain Brother (Bro Kiern as I recall, but Mercado fits the bill) was present and his abnormalities and penchants were manifested in unpredictable violence (Bro Kevin was a disciplinarian within ‘reason’) and making us boys play PE and swim in the nude. This temporary clerical staff member was a monster in look and action, yet he has not even been hinted at in your survivors testimonies. Bro John was not violent, rather indolent and lazy (as a teacher). Mr Mack was a violent man who beat me on my first night (aged 8) for having the temerity to question the cooks expertise. I suffered insomnia at Oak Hill and Bro Kevin used to find me late at night on the landing and invite me to his rooms in the tower where we would discuss religion.literature and high fantasy, he didn’t abuse me sexually then (though he did beat me often in public; I was and still am a rebel). Unlike you and some others I am a Catholic yet. I see things through the lense of humanity. Nobody is Perfect. Not me, not you, not the clergy. That is the whole point in Catholic faith learned the hard way, it is a human and living faith. Everyone falls short but love, truth, wisdom and faith overcomes all of the BS.

INVESTIGATION INTO DE LA SALLE ABUSE 

CURRENT POSITION

desbill.scoe@gmail.com

SCOE  – Safeguarding

Dear Des Bill

I wanted to see what the latest situation was regarding the numerous allegations of abuse by old boys, including myself, at the hands of the De La Salles. Not only at St Joseph’s Ipswich, but also Beulah Hill and elsewhere. As you know, they are all recorded on this website and have also been available in summary for an investigator’s convenience.

I’m aware that they have been sent to police Operation Hydrant, via yourself and Catholic Safeguarding, and I look forward to their response in due course. 

The DLS have also contacted Suffolk police  – see below – and this may be part of the Hydrant investigation or separate. It’s not been made clear and it would be useful to know.

It was also stated by the DLS spokesperson that an independent investigator would be commissioned to look into these allegations which he said were  ‘unheard of’.

‘ most of the accusations made on Mr Mills blog were “completely unheard of”, he (Hudd) said. 

See EADT December 11 2021

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/st-josephs-ipswich-abuse-monks-ask-police-8553626

“With regards to St Joseph’s, we’ve put the ball in Suffolk Constabulary’s court”, Mr Hudd said. “It’s up to them to work out what happened and if the abuse truly was systemic. 

“We’ve also hired our own independent and experienced child abuse investigator to assist the police. 

In fact ‘most’ allegations were ‘heard of’ and were  familiar to the DLS as survivors of Brother Kevin’s abuse prove on this site. And the Beulah Hill survivors who have made numerous allegations on line about Brother Solomon. 

For the DLS to claim they were unaware of these allegations and more is unconvincing.

The DLS own records will confirm that ‘most’ were ‘heard of’ as I’m sure Hudd knows only too well.

Moving onto the investigation, I have not had any contact from an investigator. But how else are they to reach the authors of the various allegations on my site?

We have been waiting these many months and nothing has happened. Who the investigator is has not been revealed to us.

I have the strong feeling that the investigator – six months later – has done nothing.

Is that the case?

You will recall that when the DLS provincial Laurence Hughes was being similarly investigated for allegations of his violent abuse of children, I put your independent investigator’s details on my site. Consequently, several Old Boys got in touch with the investigator.

As a system, it worked well and I have no complaints.

Surely that is the way to go here?

On which subject, I’m sure survivors of Hughes’s alleged violence would like to know what is happening. I understand that police action against Hughes is not proceeding? Is this correct? But I believe you said that – whatever the legal outcome – there would then be an internal inquiry? 

Is Hughes now reinstated as head of the DLS or has he ‘retired’ ? I think the survivors of his alleged assaults would like to know. 

I’m putting this letter up on my blog so survivors can be kept in the loop. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pat Mills

TWO MORE ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE SCANDALS

The first one is ‘indirect’, in as much as the appalling abuser Timothy Cox, who called himself ‘Son of God’– from a wealthy Suffolk family  – was ‘only’ a pupil at St Joseph’s.

As my St Jo’s Old Boy source told me:

 ‘Just chatting to ex St Joseph’s guy who told me about this guy. I didn’t  know about it til now but he said he sat next to him at St Joe’s. Shudder’

This is something that none of the newspapers I checked referred to. Cox’s education and his background surely helped make him the person he is. But this doesn’t surprise me – such connections are rarely included in national or local papers. We can only speculate about why this is and what strings were pulled to keep St Jo’s out of the papers. I’ve demonstrated this elsewhere with the Colchester Knights of St Columba who managed successfully to keep a very low media profile when one of their Knights was convicted of major paedophile offences.

Of course it could be coincidence and nothing more. But predators not only abuse but also recruit new members, so it continues from one generation to the next.

And, as they say in Catholic seminaries, ‘They did to us. So now it’s our turn to do it to others.’

This transgenerational factor in Catholic abuse has been proven by the academic Oz Dark Network study of Catholic abusers I often refer to.

Of course no one, including Cox, is going to admit there’s a connection, but – given so many circumstantial factors – I’d lay money Cox was introduced to his vile practices by others. He didn’t just dream it up solo or entirely via the internet. Who his mentors were, we can only speculate. But St Jo’s – when he was there in the early 90s – seems to have been as foul as it was in my day in the 1960s. See the second scandal below.

Although, reassuringly, we’re constantly told the ‘New’ St Joseph’s of today is very different and truly religious and holy.  Different board of governors…?  Acknowledgement of the crimes of the past…? No financial connection with the De La Salle paedophiles…? No connection with the paedophile lay teachers of the past…?

Anyway, this is the link to Cox’s story.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/sep/09/childrensservices

Cox was released after less than  five years – which is surprising, more strings pulled? – and is ‘now’  (2018) living in Ipswich, just yards from a primary school.  That school is on Chantry Estate where I was brought up which is – of course – very close to St Joseph’s College.

Pure coincidence, I’m sure

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/paedophile-behind-online-abuse-ring-13137391

My  ex-St J’s source went on to tell me that this other St J’s old boy revealed:

‘He also said that around 1991 half the staff were sacked after another pedo scandal,  most of the sports  and arts, English and music were subject to a major cull. New head brought in , Mr Hennessy. All news to me as I was avoiding anything to do with the place then.’

Half the staff? WTF?!

Gosh! That took me by surprise. They managed to cover that one up well.  And no reporting to the police, of course. I think this was the same era as the St J’s lay teacher who recently killed himself, just before facing trial for paedophile offences.

It suggests to me, at that time, some kind of ‘ring’/organized abuse of at least 4 Catholic lay teachers.

And that excludes the smarter Catholic lay teachers who kept their heads down and avoided the cull.  That was my experience looking back to the 60s– the eccentric characters like Solomon, James and Kevin have now been outed, but I know of at least two other, ‘normal’ lay teachers, who successfully avoided the spotlight.

If I named either of them today, there’d be a howl of outrage from old boys of my generation, ‘He couldn’t have been an abuser because he was such a really great bloke and a brilliant teacher, too. I’d know if he was a wrong un.’

Sure you would.

Well, in one of those two cases, the police thought otherwise. At this stage, I can’t say more.

What is it about St Joseph’s that seems to attract more abusers than the average Catholic school?

I’d say it’s the transgenerational factor again. These predators hear on their grapevine that St J’s is a good place to find victims. After all, it was just a few years earlier IIRC that one Catholic lay teacher was using a cat o’ nine whip on a boy and getting away with it.

So these vile individuals were drawn to St J’s like moths to the flame.

If they were sacked in the early 90s, some of them could still be alive…

Food for thought?

SONIA POULTON SHOW : RISE WITH BNT

I was on the show on Friday talking about organised Catholic abuse involving the De La Salles and the Knights of St Columba. Past AND present. I managed to give an over-view of their crimes. Hope to go into detail in specific areas of their systemic abuse on a future occasion.

It was recorded, so you can see it here:

https://brandnewtube.com/v/jLXO9f

My piece starts just after 1:04 

BROTHER SOLOMON/ MIKE MERCADO latest news

Here’s the latest newspaper article about Mercado.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-housemaster-paid-18k-following-abuse-allegation-8795634

A Catholic boarding school housemaster accused of sexually assaulting a child was given a pay-out worth £58,000 today, we can reveal. 

Brother Solomon, also known by his lay name Mike Mercado, taught at St Joseph’s College on Belstead Road in Ipswich for the first time in the 1950s, and left in 1961.  

It was formerly run by the De La Salle order of monks and has been hit with allegations of historic sex abuse in recent years. It has been under independent ownership since 1996. 

(The article continues with further information about the case)

I did wonder who brokered the deal which seemed, from Mercado’s letter, to have been about ensuring his silence. Was it the Knights of St Columba whom past posts have clearly shown were called in to prevent scandal.

The only element I would add to the article at this stage is that there is now confirmation that Solomon was in DLS Jersey for one year in the early 1960s.

I’m pleased about this because I was the only pupil from that era who could remember he was sent to Jersey. It was believed at the time – amongst us 11 year old schoolboys – Jersey was some kind of reformatory for sexual predators. With typical gallows humour, we thought it was funny! No one else could recall it in recent years but it left a strong impression on me at the time. I dread to think why! This article confirms my memory was correct.

It also ties in with past posts on this blog where another DLS Old Boy heard a conversation about DLS monks – under suspicion – going to Bournemouth and then Jersey and – if necessary – escaping to France.

A De La Salle ratline for their predatory monks to escape justice. Pre Ryan Air, a ferry ratline would have made sense.

As I’ve related before, Brother Kevin used the ratline to escape to France where he seemed to have spent a year.

From memory, there was only one case of Solomon’s abuse at Ipswich. This involved caning perversions and a group of boarders. I’m sure there were more cases, though, because we all knew he was a predator. But at Beulah Hill there were endless allegations about his vile and violent behaviour, which may have later led to the death of one pupil , a poet,who had a troubled life

Currently the DLS claim they don’t know anything about them, even though they have currently appointed an independent investigator to look into the cases on this site. I’ve never heard from the investigator, so I’m starting to feel suspicious. Is this yet another DLS cover-up?

This man really was a monster. There’s more about him in the pipeline and a cursory ‘Sorry’ just ain’t enough.

ST PETER’S SOUTHBOURNE – PHOTO BROTHER KEVIN

Some details from Southbourne below. 1973. I recognised Kevin and Leo instantly before checking the text.  And maybe Wilfred was at St Jo’s Ipswich previously. Curiously, Brother Kevin looks the least threatening.

A friend is trying to find out about the Jesuit era at Southbourne when her father was educated there. So any recollections would be gratefully received.

THE DE LA SALLES – WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

I’ve just sent SCOE and DLS Safeguarding – the two relevant Catholic Safeguarding organizations –  the summaries of evidence on Brothers Kevin, James, Solomon, Father Jolly the DLS school chaplain, and a summary of other DLS abusers.

These summaries will greatly facilitate the work of the investigations detailed below. It’s hard trawling through the numerous testimonies posted on this site over several years and my summaries are designed to make life easy for DLS Safeguarding and SCOE.

Here’s my understanding of what is currently happening:  There are THREE strands of investigation into the DLS which is encouraging.   However, they appear to overlap which – hopefully – won’t be a problem.

The three strands are:

1.The DLS Safeguarding Inquiry. 

Here’s the newspaper account revealing the inquiry.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/st-josephs-ipswich-abuse-monks-ask-police-8553626

But to quote from it:

Barry Hudd, head of safeguarding at the De La Salle Brothers, said the order wanted to “clear the whole thing up”. 

He added that while there have been more than 200 abuse claims made against the order from across the UK, until now only a handful have come from St Joseph’s. 

One of these, he said, was settled recently outside of court, but most of the accusations made on Mr Mills blog were “completely unheard of”, he said.

“With regards to St Joseph’s, we’ve put the ball in Suffolk Constabulary’s court”, Mr Hudd said. “It’s up to them to work out what happened and if the abuse truly was systemic. 

“We’ve also hired our own independent and experienced child abuse investigator to assist the police. 

Previously, DLS Safeguarding had set up an Independent Investigator to look at De La Salle Brother ‘A’  which may still be ongoing, so I won’t comment on that matter. Other than to say their Investigator was Jo Norman whom I found tremendously helpful to talk to. Other Survivors have said the same thing.

However, no one from DLS Safeguarding has been in touch with me thus far regarding this new investigation, even though I understand it’s based entirely on the testimonies on this site.

And one survivor  recently wrote direct to DLS Safeguarding with his well documented account of abuse and was disappointed by their brief response.

So I have a question for the DLS:

Has the DLS independent Investigator been appointed? 

Because we were told by SCOE when Jo Norman was appointed. I think we should be similarly told by DLS Safeguarding what is going on and who the Investigator is.

2. The SCOE. Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education (SCOE). 

Its Independent Chair is Rev Dcn  Des Bill.   He informed me:

“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

The SCOE themselves have also already been dealing with complaints of DLS abuse. Des Bill has  been forwarding the testimonies on this site to the police of Operation Hydrant (see below).

Possibly DLS Safeguarding will do the same separately via their Investigator or will co-ordinate with SCOE?

Des Bill was also involved in the investigation into De La Salle Brother ‘A’.  In fact, I thought it was SCOE who had initiated it.  But a reporter told me that De La Salle Safeguarding had advised her that they initiated it not SCOE. 

So I assume that SCOE acted at the original  ‘front person’  for DLS Safeguarding and that they liaised behind the scenes.

However, here’s what Jo Norman said herself:

I am an Independent safeguarding consultant who has been commissioned to provide management of all complaints against  Brother ‘A’ and to support the SCOE (Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education) in making decisions regarding these complaints. 

Catholic Safeguarding (Chair: Nazir Afzal ) are NOT involved.  Their full name is Catholic Standards Agency: CSSA. They are a completely new and separate organization.  They deal with abuser priests and are not involved with religious orders like the DLS.

3. Ipswich police

If an abuser is still alive, it’s relatively simple for a Survivor of the abuse to get a response without going through this complex system.  Ipswich police will  deal with you direct. I found them helpful and pro-active.

But if the abuser is dead, the complaint goes to Operation Hydrant. This is an umbrella police organization dealing with historic and systemic abuse.

It is still handled from Ipswich, but the police tell me they require an authorised intermediary   – like Jo Norman – to  present the information to Hydrant.

That sounds simple enough, but there are inconsistencies. Thus Des Bill has been sending testimonies from my site to Hydrant without such an intermediary.

Maybe this happened because the information was already summarized which would usually be the job of an intermediary.

And at least two DLS Survivors have reported historic abuse – where the DLS abuser is dead – to Ipswich police who have responded direct to them.  Maybe they didn’t need an intermediary because they were ‘one off’ cases.

                                                         ……………………..

The three strands are confusing, a little contradictory, and there is a noticeable lack of detail.   

But I’m hoping these two Catholic Safeguarding organizations will make things clearer for us all in the future.

We need full transparency to avoid going round in circles and in line with the recent Elliott Report which said Safeguarding Officers should adopt a more compassionate, communicative and respectful attitude to Survivors.

The lack of communication I’ve described is certainly not in line with the Elliott Report.

WHAT DOES A SURVIVOR OF DLS ABUSE DO NEXT?

I’m asking both DLS Safeguarding and the SCOE for some guidance here and I think we all need some answers from them to the questions and my suggestions below.

Here is an example of a key case.

Survivor Z has written a detailed and important testimony about a  dead DLS sexual and physical abuser. It’s been backed up by supporting evidence by other Survivors.  It’s in the evidence posts I’ve sent the Safeguarding agencies.

And it should be backed up by further evidence in the DLS files. There is no way this DLS abuser’s sexual and physical abuse crimes could have been unknown by Oxford (The DLS HQ). There would be many complaints about him.

As with all the evidence I have presented, I strongly dispute that they are ‘completely unheard of’ as the cases themselves make clear.

So what happens next? 

1)Does Z wait until Hydrant gets in touch with him ?

Or will the DLS Safeguarding independent Investigator seek to also get in touch with him before passing the same evidence to Hydrant?

2)The Investigator  or Hydrant can get in touch with Z by contacting me and I will pass on their request.

And the Investigator can ask me – from looking at the evidence summaries I’ve provided – who else they would particularly like to get in touch with. I will happily act as facilitator for them.

 If that is not acceptable, we need to know why. 

 3) An alternative would be for the Investigator to place a request for information on my blog, asking survivors to come forward.  This has been done before and I believe it worked well. 

But a few important testimonies will need addressing separately. For example, if a Survivor who made a key testimony rarely reads my blog, so he’s not going to know about the Investigator’s request.  Then I would need to contact them.

4) Or should Z write to the DLS Investigator or DLS Safeguarding?  Bearing in mind his testimony has already gone to SCOE and thus onto Hydrant.

5)Can SCOE and DLS Safeguarding tell us how they avoid this possible duplication and a Survivor like Z telling his story twice to two overlapping organizations?

6) The DLS files in Oxford will be bulging with information on the most notorious DLS abusers:  Solomon, Kevin and James.  If an Investigator goes to those files FIRST, it should confirm many of their crimes.

So how necessary is it for all Survivors to be contacted and repeat their allegations which are painful to recount?

Bearing in mind the Elliott Report asks Catholic Safeguarding agencies to have a more compassionate and kindly approach in future.  

For example, the DLS Investigator should be able to confirm from the DLS  files alone that Brother James was a violent abuser who had psychotic episodes.

There must also be a dozen accounts of  Brother James’ violence on my blog which bear this out. Contacting all survivors would be laborious and may be unnecessary when the DLS already know he is guilty.

In my opinion, the DLS  acknowledging that James was guilty of psychotic  violence should be a relatively simple matter, irrespective of Hydrant. Then it’s up to individual Survivors to decide what to do with that DLS acknowledgement next.

In fact, it hardly needs to go through Hydrant, taking up valuable police time, especially when they seem overloaded with work which may mean it could take some considerable time before they respond – this is according to Barry Hudd, the DLS Safeguarding Officer.

If that proves to be the case, I will have to look at the implications. Namely : are the DLS being obstructive and against the recommendations of the Elliott Report?

There is a simpler solution if the DLS genuinely want to get to the bottom of all this.

 A simple but specific admission of James’ guilt by the DLS would suffice.

The position is similar where Brothers Solomon and Kevin are concerned.

Their cases are provably and emphatically NOT ‘completely unheard of ‘.

7) DLS lay teachers are the responsibility of the DLS, as confirmed by DLS Safeguarding saying that they are looking into Mike Mercado. But I think we want to be sure.

So here’s another key question to DLS Safeguarding:

Will you please confirm that DLS lay teachers detailed in the relevant evidence summary are included in your investigation?

8)DLS Safeguarding started off on ‘the wrong foot’ with Survivors as I’ve previously exampled. (e.g their not-so-public ‘public’ apology). It would be good if we can put that behind us now. 

I’m prepared to do so, if I see there’s a change of attitude from now on.

Bearing in mind  the sensitivity of the issues, the opening of old wounds, the huge emotional toll to Survivors of DLS crimes, and the recommendations of the Elliott Report for Catholic Safeguarding agencies to do much better:

Is there anything DLS Safeguarding and/or the Investigator would like to say to help Survivors just now?  I will happily post it on my blog without comment.

9) Finally, there’s the whole issue of proper DLS apologies and proper DLS acknowledgement of crimes, but I think that’s worth addressing in a later, separate post, possibly as the investigation proceeds.

DE LA SALLE MEMORIES

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.

DE LA SALLE COLLEGE JERSEY

De La Salle College in Jersey is a private independent Catholic all-boys school taking its name from St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651–1719), who founded the De La Salle Brothers in France.

This Jersey school has come up recently from recollections on this site.

I wonder if there are any Old Boys who went to that school – especially in the 1960s – who would like to share their memories, good or bad, with us?

For example, if they recall BROTHER SOLOMON and BROTHER KEVIN being there, albeit briefly. Maybe for a year or less.

My abiding memory, as an eleven year old boy at DLS St Joseph’s Ipswich, was that Brother Solomon was sent there briefly before he went on to DLS St Joseph’s Beulah Hill.

We school boys firmly believed the Jersey DLS college was a ‘reformatory’ for abuser brothers. How we knew that, heaven knows, but that was our widespread opinion and the subject of many playground conversations and jokes.

It left a strong impression on me. I somehow knew it was important to hold onto that memory for the future and it’s stayed with me all my life.

A few days ago, an Old Boy of  DLS St Peter’s Bournemouth related how in the early to mid 60s he had overheard a conversation between two Brothers describing how abusers would be sent from Bournemouth to Jersey and then to France in order to escape the police.

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So Jersey was the hub of an organised DLS operation.

 In the 60s the ferry system between the three locations would be important.

 I’m sure it was an excellent school. Nevertheless it appears it was also  a jumping off point for Brothers to go to France until things calmed down.

That seems to be what happened in the case of Brother Kevin.

Any recollections anyone has of the school back then would be useful to gain a full understanding of what was going on in those days.

As always on this site, any views will be treated in strictest confidence and can be anonymous if preferred.

Many thanks