Raymond's story

Every weekend, when Raymond’s parents drove away after visiting him at his South Australian boarding school, the 12-year-old would run for as long as he could beside their car, screaming for them to take him home.

Raymond told the Commissioner that over the course of his first year at the school in the early 1960s, as a Year 7 student he was molested and raped by Andrews, the principal of the Marist Brothers’ college.

‘The first time, Andrews was behind me feeling my penis and testicles, then he pulled my pants down and it hurt like buggery. He stopped because I was making a lot of noise.

'After, I realised blood was running down my legs and into my little slippers, so I hid in the boiler room. I could see my pyjama pants were covered in blood. I tried to wash them but I couldn’t, so I buried them in the boiler burner. When they were discovered missing, I was told they cost money and caned for losing them.’

Raymond said he would have been too embarrassed to seek medical attention from the school matron, and ‘wouldn’t have known the words’ to say to his parents, so kept the abuse to himself.

He described going from being near the top of his primary school class, to failing his first year at boarding school.

‘I was the most caned kid in the school. Sometimes I’d even skipped showers to make myself smell a lot so I would be unattractive, but it didn’t work.’

The abuse stopped only when Andrews left the school suddenly. Two years later at 14, Raymond left school.

‘I became very promiscuous with men, I thought I was worthless. Then I got a lucky break and started a good career and met my wife. Before we married I told her about the abuse.

'I started having suicidal thoughts in my early 20s and I thought it wasn’t fair because we had three young kids, so I went to the doctor and was put on medication that worked. But I’ve always felt no matter how much I succeed, I’m never good enough.’

Raymond contacted police in the 2000s, but felt he was being ‘fobbed off’. A few years later he met with Towards Healing to disclose the abuse, and said he was advised that Andrews was no longer lucid enough to make any comment.

‘Then one day I saw the Church had just honoured Andrews with a mass, and I watched the speech he made at this mass where he spoke of the lives of the boys he’d touched, which I thought was a pretty bad choice of words.

'I’d been told he had dementia, but when I saw the pictures I thought, "This guy’s not suffering dementia".’

With his initial plan to pursue the Church reignited, Raymond again contacted Towards Healing.

‘Andrews said it was a crock of shit – but out of the blue, someone else contacted them and they noticed the modus operandi was too similar. Here they had someone from a different part of Australia telling them the same story.

'It was always, “It’s part of my responsibility as head of the school to see that you’re developing properly as a young man”. I think the Church must have known because he shifted around a hell of a lot.’

The Church made a $75,000 settlement. Very few of Raymond’s family members have retained their faith. When he revealed details of the abuse to his parents, they were both ‘gutted’.

He isn’t certain how many boys were sexually abused by Andrews, but Raymond knows of at least one.

‘Troy was my best mate at school. I knew he’d been with Andrews one night, and when he came back I could hear him sobbing in his bed.

'I went and climbed in with him and was hugging him. We woke the next morning to the chorus of “Poofters, poofters, poofters” and that stuck for quite some time. Troy died last year: he drank himself to death.’


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