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.

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.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1440

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