A survivor of child sex abuse at a West Australian boarding school wants the remains of a former principal exhumed from the school and reburied with his “pedophile” mates, a royal commission has heard.
Gordon Grant, a former resident of St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, also wants the marble-top tombstone of Brother Paul Keaney – the superior of the school in 1947 – dumped in a piggery.
Mr Grant, now in his 80s, was sent to Bindoon from Wales when he was 14.
While at the school, he was physically beaten by Brother Keaney and repeatedly sexually abused by other brothers.
Mr Grant says he wants Keaney’s remains exhumed from the grounds of Bindoon and reinterred at the 115-year-old Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.
“We counted 14 Christian Brothers who are buried there, and they are all repeat offenders. They were notorious pedophiles at these four institutions,” Mr Grant said on Wednesday.
“Keaney’s bones will be with his mates at Karrakatta cemetery, and in regards to his marble top tombstone, that can go down to the piggery.”
The Commission is hearing testimony from survivors of abuse at Bindoon, Castledare Junior Orphanage, St Vincent’s Orphanage Clontarf and St Mary’s Agricultural School, Tardun.
Another survivor and former resident of Bindoon, Edward Delaney, told how he was left without treatment for a broken arm and leg for two weeks before being sent to a hospital.
In another incident, the fingers on both his hands were broken when a senior brother beat him with a leather strap with a hacksaw blade sewn into it, Mr Delaney was left with a permanent disfigurement by the attack.
The retired investment broker said he was raped by a Brother Parker while at Bindoon, “about once a month for 18 months.”
When he notified the resident priest, Brother Parker was shipped off to Tasmania and Mr Delaney – aged 13 – was told to say three Hail Marys and his sins would be forgiven.
The senior brother at Bindoon at the time, Bruno Doyle, told him not to tell anyone.
“The matter has been dealt with,” Doyle told Mr Delaney, the commission heard.
“If I hear that you’ve told anybody, you’ll be punished.”
A child migrant from England sent to Australia without his mother’s consent, Mr Delaney said in his years at Bindoon, from age nine to 16, he never once saw a welfare worker.
The Australian government neglected the boys in the school, he said.
“I believe that the Australian government neglected their responsibility to find out – they dragged us from a country, with the permission of the English government,” he said.
“They dragged us here, they placed us there to make this a bigger country, and then they don’t care about us.
“I want to know why.”
On Wednesday, the commission also heard from Emma White, acting director general of WA’s Department of Child Protection and Family support.
Ms White said records show government inspections of the centre were ad hoc in nature and at the direction of the relevant minister, the then minister for immigration and lands.
A 1947 letter from the department secretary to the Catholic archbishop noted that the educational facilities at Bindoon were negligible.
Concerns were also raised about the cleanliness and physical environment in which the children were being kept.
“I have no doubt when I next visit in three or four weeks time, there will be a decided improvement along the lines I wish, and more particularly in the educational facilities,” the letter read.
The hearings continue.