Day of Extreme Suffering

 

April 14/17 |
by Rev Gordon Taylor

On this 39th day of Lent … the Friday we call Good … when we ponder deliberate and painful treatment of the vulnerable by those with power, we remember …

(Note within TRC:  In instances where Survivors spoke of individuals who have been convicted of abuse, those names have been included.) …

Certain dormitory supervisors used their authority to institute dormitory-wide systems of abuse. Arthur Plint was eventually convicted for abuses he committed while he was a dormitory supervisor at the Alberni, British Columbia, school. Richard Hall was one of his victims. According to Hall, Plint coerced a group of older students into assisting him in imposing a regime of abuse upon the rest of the students in the dormitory.

And there’s times when that, the bullies, I called them goons, I called them. They chased me, get me and bring me to that pedophile so he could molest me, have his way with me. And you would live in constant fear. You’d watch for these guys all the time. You’d be running all the time …

And times, at night, these boys under his thumb would get their ways and do things to the kids. I could hear the kids and those fears were also in me that you’d be urinated on and they had an ointment called Winter Green that they used to put, at night, used to reach under the blankets of the young boys and wipe it all over their genitals and it would burn. And if you added water it will burn even more, and they laughed about it. They got what they wanted. If the dorm was punished these boys got the food, they got to do what they want. And for some of the behaviours, Plint, I think also gave them alcohol. These boys would also in the night travel to other dorms. I know because they asked me to be part of it but it wasn’t in my nature.

Shortly after Ben Pratt started attending the Gordon’s, Saskatchewan, school, the residence supervisor, William Starr, asked him if he wanted to work in the school canteen. He agreed, since it was a way of making some extra spending money. However, after a short time on the job, he was invited into Starr’s office.

And I remember after that evening, he took me into his office, and there was about five or six of us boys in there, and he started touching us boys. Some would leave, and some would come back, some would leave and come back when we’re watching tv in, in the back of his office. He had a couch in there, and a tv. And we’d all get ready to go to bed, and he made me stay back. And at that time, I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I was sitting there, and I was wondering how come I had to stay back, and I was watching tv there, and then he start touching me, and between my legs, and he pulled my, my pyjamas down. And the experience that I went through of him raping me, and I cried, and I yelled, but it didn’t do any good, ’cause he shoved the rag in my mouth, and he was much stronger than me, he held me down, and the pain and the yelling that I was screaming why are you doing that to me, there was no one to help me. I felt helpless. And after he finished doing what he did to me, he sent me back to my room, and I was in so much pain I couldn’t even hardly walk, and I could feel this warm feeling running down the back of my leg on my pyjamas and on my shorts. And I went to the washroom. I tried to clean myself up. This was blood.

How can we speak?  How can we keep silent?  UCiM Facebook page. 

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When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with two others, one on his right and one on his left. Luke 23:33.

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The Survivors Speak.  2015. Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  pp. 153-164.

 

And the People Said

As I have learned more and spent more time here, it’s become more a discipleship opportunity.

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This Sunday Oct. 1 – Wear your blue jeans!  Cradle Roll for the wee ones under three, Children’s Church for older children (please go directly to your classes as you arrive); we share in Worldwide Communion with Christians around the world.  After worship – we do our Fall Cleaning Bee – hence the blue jeans!  Lunch will follow for all the helpers.

It will augment our Every-Sunday After-Worship Pure-Potluck. Bring one food item to share with four people and visit away!

The United Church in Meadowood

1111 Dakota Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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