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I am a Christian Brothers College (CBC) old boy and attended a few of the colleges as a boarder. The brothers were dedicated, good and holy men, albeit harsh at times, but I received a good education, learned how to be tough and survive, and have no complaints. There was never any suggestion of sexual impropriety, and anyone caught indulging in, or even discussing such conduct, would have had their heads knocked off. When we had Saturday night pictures, a brother would stand by the projector and place his hand over the camera during any sexually suggestive or kissing scenes. To have been sexually abused by a brother would have been unthinkable. Those were the Christian brothers.

That is why during the 2013 Royal Commission into child sex abuse in institutions, I could not believe it when sex abuse by some brothers was unveiled. There were some instances in fee-paying colleges, but generally throughout the orphanages. It appears that the monsters were confined to the orphanages where the children had no parents to complain to, and the abusers were simply moved from orphanage to orphanage. But the abuse was not only sexual, it also involved great cruelty to the children, both mentally and physically.

The four notorious Christian Brothers orphanages in Western Australia were Clontarf Boys’ Home established 1901, Tardun Agricultural School established 1928, Castledare Boys’ Home established 1929, and Keaney College (later Catholic Agricultural College) Bindoon established 1938.

clotarfly

casbinfly

It all started in the 1800s when Britain started exporting their unwanted children to its then existing Empire and to the United States of America. Most children in the age group 5-14 were from Britain, but some were from other countries such as Malta. Organisations involved with the British Government included Barnardos, the Salvation Army, the Anglican Church, the Wesley Mission, and the Catholic Church through the Christian Brothers and some orders of nuns.

The children received some education in three of the orphanages, but very little or none at Bindoon. The Bindoon children were forced to work from dawn to dusk in providing labour for blasting, shaping, and carting huge stone blocks being quarried for the grandiose buildings being erected by the monster in charge, Brother Francis Keaney. They also provided the labour for the actual building. There was no time for school. They had no shoes and were bullied and beaten by Keaney for the slightest imagined infraction. An actual case history of physical and sexual abuse is considered below. But first, some actual pictures of child labour.

briflymak21

boti1021

1boti1021

Francis Keaney was born in Ireland in Born 1888, and migrated to Australia in1911. After a brief spell as a policeman, the towering, physically imposing Keaney was employed in various institutions, including Clontarf. He arrived at Bindoon in 1940 shortly after building work had commenced. He proved to be a bullying tyrant who used the boys as slaves who survived on porridge, swedes and turnips and little else, while the Brothers lived off the fat of the land. The boys even resorted to stealing food meant for the pigs and were thrashed for their efforts.

Supposedly to teach the boys a trade, the children were forced into labour to work in unsafe circumstances to construct the imposing buildings while barefooted, cold and hungry. Two boys were killed during the construction and were buried in unmarked graves. Many left Bindoon illiterate after turning 16, following which they were dumped out on the streets of Perth to exist as best they could.

Keaney was awarded an MBE in 1953 and died in 1954, following which he was feted as the orphans’ friend. Keaney was identified as being cast in the same mold as the Irish Father Edward Flanagan born in 1886 also in Ireland, who established Boys Town in Nebraska, as was played by Spencer Tracy in the 1938 movie of the same name. Bindoon even became known as Boys Town. This myth was maintained up until the 1990s, even though I knew about Keaney in the 1950s, as did many others. Keaney was no Flanagan.

boyt1021

Gordon

Gordon (Christian name) was a Child Migrant at Bindoon from 1947-1951. This was after the earlier days of blasting and quarrying rocks for the buildings. The following are extracts from his evidence given to the 2013 Royal Commission into child sex abuse in institutions. It really says it all.

Please note: there is some distressing content in the following. 

I had been in Australia only three days when 34 year old Christian Brother - Francis Marques approached me and stated that he wanted me to make his bed in his room, every morning after Breakfast.It was on the 4th day of me complying with this task, that Br. Marques came into his bedroom, and then asked me to help him attach a large mosquito net above his bed. This required me to stand on a chair, so as to attach the corner hem of the mosquito net to a hook screw that had been affixed to the wall above his bed. With no indication of what was about to happen, Br. Marques then placed both his hands on my thighs, as he said, he wanted to hold me - steady. Then it happened. He moved both of his hands up inside my shorts -pants, where he proceeded to grope my genitals and my bare bottom. (I was not wearing underpants). His actions surprised me and I almost fell off the chair. I immediately then left his bedroom feeling very embarrassed. I never did go back to his bedroom to make his bed, and nor did I report this matter to the Br.Superior, Br. T. Me Gee. Incidentally, Br. Marques was Australian born, and as a boy, he himself had spent several years at both of the Clontarf and the Tardun Christian Brothers WA boys institutions.I do believe that Br. Marques himself was a sexually abused child victim, and that he himself had now become a sexual predator. (Paedophile) Over several years, Br. Marques had created a reputation as a repeat child sex offender, for he did abuse many other boys, at the four WA Boys, institutions, when he was a staff member.

Father Eugene Perez: A Spanish Benedictine Monk of the Benedictine Monastery - New Norcia.Eugene Perez arrived in WA in 1938 as a young seminarian from Spain, to be trained and ordained as a priest. Indue course Father Eugene did train as an artist &sculptor over a period of four years in Sydney,1940 -1944 . In1947, he was assigned as the resident priest at the Boys Town institution - Bindoon. On being introduced to this priest, I did recognise him to be quite a feminine individual because of his mannerisms.

It was three weeks later, that this priest / Artist / Sculptor invited me up to his large bedroom in the tower of the main dormitory building, as he stated that he required me to be a live model, as he wanted to maintain his skills as an artist. Being gullible, I complied with his suggestions that I position my almost naked body on a blanket covered table, so that he could have visual access to both the frontal and the posterior aspects of my naked body, while he drew sketches onto a large white cardboard sheet. Occasionally, the priest would then come to alter my position, to show more exposure of my genitals, of which he fondled. He also did caress my exposed bare bottom. Father Eugene did succeed in sexually arouses me, telling me to relax completely as he did proceed to masturbate me. His particular interest was penises. The bigger the better, he liked. Other boys whom he had sexually abused had confirmed his particular interests. He stayed at Bindoon from 1947 -1951.

There were now 85 British Child Migrant Boys at Bindoon, the last group had arrived on 10th December 1947. I had now become aware that several Christian Brothers atBindoon had shown a personal sexual interest towards some of the boys. Notably among them were Brothers C. O' Neill, F. Wise, F. Marques and C. Angus. All of these brothers had previously served on the staff at the brother's other three WA boys institutions of Clontarf, Tardun, and Castledare. These obviously were experienced predators, (Paedophiles) repeat offenders. When it became known to us boys in early February 1948, that the Founder and former Brother Superior of Boys Town Bindoon, Brother Keaney was returning to Bindoon, there was a general feeling of anxiety and fear, as Matron Warner and the other civilian staff had informed us of the volatile, brutal reputation of Br. Keaney.What a shock we were in for. Br. Keaney did take immediate action to replace the Civilian domestic staff with Spanish Benedictine Nuns, an Aboriginal Cook named Rosie, and several young Aboriginal girls from the aboriginal Mission New Norcia. So in addition to these staff replacements, there was now at Bindoon, the Priest Father Eugene, and eight Christian Brothers, five of whom were Paedophiles. (None were qualified teachers)

evflougood

 

In a short time, we boys did become aware of the warped dominant personality of Br. Keaney. In particular, his greatest ambition was to complete the plans of the large building campus of the Boys Town institution. All boys over the age of 12 years were now allocated to work as organised groups of enforced child slave labour. These groups were assigned to work on the building site, bushland clearing, fencing, dams, erecting farm stock buildings, on the extensive 17 thousand acres farm school estate. The projects were constantly and ruthlessly supervised, inadequate basic food and work clothes, harassment, with frequent acts of physical violence, notably by Br. Keaney against the boys. These were just some of the degradations that the boys had to endure and suffer.

frugmealfly1021

The meals at Bindoon were frugal. Our regular dinners included a bowl of skim milk with stale bread soaked in it, which we called a mash, a soup of potato peelings, and occasionally food scraps from the brothers' and nuns' previous meals. I always felt hungry. It was common for me and other boys to go and search in the pig bins for food scraps, which I found degrading.

 

My first bad physical encounter with Br. Keaney did occur in mid-February 1948. it was after breakfast of stodgy porridge and a cup of stewed tea, that Br. Keaney called me over, and did ask me, “What did I want to be when I grew up". Having had little contact with life's experiences outside Institutional life, nor having received any advice by the school or vocational advisors, I still did not have any positive idea of what career that I wanted to pursue. And therefore, I immediately responded with this reply, "I don't know brother". Without warning, Br.Keaney's Immediate actions were, to give me a direct very hard punch in the face with his huge fist. This violent act did result in me being knocked backwards and sprawling on the concrete floor of the dining room. Blood was now pouring from my nose which had been broken. I was shocked at being physically assaulted by this big man, who was wearing the religious habit of a Christian Brother. After picking myself up off the concrete floor at Br. Keaney's beckoning, he further abused me by saying, "That my Irish born mother must have been a descendant of one of Cromwell's English Army camp followers, a whore no doubt, I was an off-sprinq of a woman  of the street. Yes, you scum of the gutter. Now, get down to the chooks yards. Water and feed the chooks them every morning, before reporting to work on the building sites, and don't forget to collect the eggs each day". In the weeks that followed, usually on a Sunday morning after breakfast, Br. Keaney would go down to the dairy, and the piggery. He would create havoc amongst the dairy cows, by his loud swearing of obscenities. Keaney would then proceed to the poultry yards and would order me into the poultry stock feed shed, where I would have to drop my trousers, and then be made to lie on top of a bag of bran and pollard. Br. Keaney derived sadistic delight in flogging my bare buttocks (Bum) with a heavy stick, followed by his usual vile verbal abuses.

I would be left in a state of despair. Why was this happening to me?

 

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Prior to arriving in Australia in 1916, Br.P. Keaney had been a policeman in Ireland Within two years of his arrival in Australia Br. Keaney joined the Queensland Police Force. (1916) Due to his past connections with police officers In Ireland and QLD, that enabled Br. Keaney to maintain a close friendly association with senior police commissioned officers, particularly in Western Australia for over thirty years. Thus, Br. Keaney’s best friend was the WA Police Commissioner John Doyle, who did frequently stay for weekends at Bindoon, and would have witnessed Keaney's ruthless behaviour and acts of violence against vulnerable boys who had been placed in his protective care.I am most certain that Police Commissioner John Doyle was fully aware of the worse aspects of Keaney's character/traits, and yet John Doyle never did show any empathy for the unfortunate child victims. So what chances did abused boys at Bindoon have of getting any positive response from the police, or from any other government authorities forthe horrendous and vile abuses that they had to endure and suffer at the hands of the brutal Tyrant Br. Keaney and his brothers/cohorts at Bindoon. There was absolutely none. Anyway, who would have believed the orphanage boys?

There are numerous photographs that exist today, which provide stark pictures of 12 to 14 year old boys of the 1947 to 1954 period clad in the barest of cast-off clothing (Rags) and with no footwear or hats, while hard working long hours in all the worse weather conditions at the building construction sites. I often did suffer from severe sunburns to my face, ears, etc., in that my face looked disfigured, because of severe sunburn blisters, and red inflamed sore eyes. This was due to the long exposures to the sun, cement, and lime dust. Furthermore, I also suffered from cement burns to my hands and feet, in particular between the fingers and toes, and which would take ages to heal. There was no sympathy for our awful predicament/situation by the Spanish Benedictine Priest Father Eugene Perez, the other Christian Brothers, or the Spanish Benedictine Nuns.

1frugmealfly1021

Within Two years of Br. Keaney's return to Bindoon, late October 1949, two new blue granite / concrete buildings had been completed. They were the two-storied convent, and the two storied technical school, and the boys were now set to work feverishly on the major building, which would consist of dormitories for the boys, bedrooms for the Christian Brothers, a chapel, plus numerous other rooms for various functional activities. I was working at this building site mixing large batches of concrete with a group of working boys. As usual; we were hard at work under the close supervision of the sadistic tyrant Brother Keaney. I do recall that it was a very hot day. It did happen and without any warning, that Br. Keaney did sneak up behind me. and with deliberate force did thrust the sharp metal end of the sporting (seat)stick that he had with him, directly up into my rectum. My instant reaction was to let out a loud scream which immediately startled the other boys, who realising what had happened, were aghast at Keaney'swilful brutal assault against me. Keaney then casually walked back to the chair that he had been sitting on. The pain was acute. It was if a hot poker had penetrated my rectum, and I now realised that I was now bleeding from the rectum. Both working boys, and REDACTED became sick at the sight of blood which was now running down my legs, and staining my work trousers. I had no option than to immediately leave the building site to go to the shower's block and clean myself up. Over the years I have often looked back on that dreadful traumatic incident and wished the hell, that I had responded, by directly belting Keaney over the head with my long handle shovel or a pick. It would have been so easy to have killed the bastard, and I would have been justified in doing so.

gohkear

My personal knowledge of abused migrant children - Flysa

 

Shortly after I left school, I was living in a mining town in which a few Bindoon orphans were employed. They were as wild as hell, and I recall that one boy was kicked out of the confessional for being drunk.

When I was a young engineer working on a mine site in the North-West of WA, I had a fellow named Ron working for me, who was a few years older than me. We got on well, but he was obviously disturbed and told me that he had been brought up in an orphanage by nuns and that his posterior was scarred with cigarette burns which they had inflicted.  In 1970 he was stabbed to death in the Port Hedland area by his aboriginal girlfriend during an altercation, caused no doubt by his traumatic childhood.

Those were the un-Christian nuns and brothers.

hworqu

The safest road to hell as described by C S Lewis in the opening quotation is being trodden today by all of those bringing evil, such as legalised abortion into the world, gradually and by stealth. They all scoff at the existence of hell, but when they die and end up there for all eternity, it has been said that if the earth were transformed to a ball of steel, and if every one hundred years a dove flew past and brushed the ball with its wing, then by the time the steel ball had been worn away to nothing, it would be as if eternity in the indescribable torments of hell had just begun.

 

 

 

 

 

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