grinrod

One of the most important, yet misunderstood, aspects of healing for child sex abuse victims is an acknowledgement and acceptance that their abuse happened.

For years – nay decades – most victims have lived shattered lives in silent desperation, watching in pain as their abusers and those that either willfully or through neglect climb the ladders of their careers, and are lauded for the ostensible achievements by good folk who know not what their heroes have done, or not done, as the case may be.

John Grindrod, the former Archbishop of Brisbane, Primate of the Australian Anglican Church, and member of the Board of Governance at St Paul’s school – he may even have been Chairman of the Board, I cannot quite remember – is one of the do-nothing heroes I am referring to.

St Paul’s School, the scene of horrific abuse by not one, but at least 2 staff members (I strongly suspect that there are more) and at least one school student leader – Gregory Masters – has named one of the student houses after Grinrod, and continues to honor his memory by giving the house a military insignia and the motto ‘Strive to Achieve’.

Strive to Achieve what though?

A church that allowed confessed pedophiles to continue to ply their trade?

That protects confessed child abusers from the criminal justice system?

That pays victims hush money in order to do so?

That allows them to continue as practicing priests, and in fact promotes them?

That sets the bar of contrition, rehabilitation and prevention as low as the child molester agreeing at the Primate’s suggestion that their sexual assault was an aberration, and that it will never happen again, never never, no Sirree!

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All of the above, as you can see above, is exactly what then Primate, Archbishop and Knight of the British Realm John Basil Rowland Grindrod did in the year 1994, and if you bet on form most likely before and after as well.

If a mug punter from Geebung concealed a crime in such a manner he would be snatched by the coppers and cast into a concrete cell, charged with being an accessory after the fact, and in all likelihood would find himself having a long and unwanted holiday in the protection unit in one of the Pineapple State’s prisons.

Yet the Most Reverend Sir John pulls the same stunt and gets a House at St Paul’s School named after him. Go figure.

It sorta gets worse too, because the school master in charge of the house is a bloke named Steve Allanson, who has been at the school forever – at least since my time there in the early 80’s – and was adversely named by at least one witness at the Royal Commission hearings into St Paul’s as condoning and waving away the magnitude of the criminal Kevin ‘Skippy’ Lynch’s crimes.

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It was only a bit of a wank.

Of course it was.

The witness was a man named Craig Patterson, a teacher of 15 years who resigned from the school in disgust at the headmaster Gilbert Case’s handling of complaints against Kevin Lynch, and at the attitude of senior teachers such as Allanson and a bloke named Robert Kernovske, another short short-wearer – his with long socks – who favored the Dave Moore style mustache.

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Stephen Allanson of course predictably denied the allegation, as did his good mate and long-term colleague Kernovkse.

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But I know Allanson – he was my PE and History teacher when I was at the school – and I vividly remember him and his behavior, which with the wisdom of adulthood and the benefit of life experience, I know realise was sinisterly suspect, and should have rung alarm bells as being at the very best highly inappropriate, and at the worst potentially criminal.

Given these clear recollections I don’t believe his denials for a single second.

He was not a tall man Steve Allanson – neither was Lynch, or Greg Masters, or Knight, although he was taller than the other two; there appears to be some odd correlation between attraction to young boys and being close to their size – and he used to sport a Dave Moore style handlebar mustache and parade about the school in tight t-shirts and the shortest of short running-style shorts with his balls hanging out.

And with them hanging out and in the wind the weirdo used to love spending time in the swimming the athletic sheds, ostensibly supervising boys, buy why do young teens need supervision to dress and undress? Other teachers didn’t do it. So why did Allanson? I’ll leave you to find your own answer to that one.

I have another vivid memory of the bloke being part of a group in charge on a school camp that I attended at the old Alexandra Headlands dormitory style facility, which is now long gone, but was a group of wooden dorms built around an oval. It was winter, and either Grade 8 or 9, and as 13-year-old boys bunched together tend to do we were whispering in our sleep after lights out and generally horsing about.

It was nothing you wouldn’t experience when a few of your kid’s mates sleep over, but Allanson made us all get out of bed, strip down to our underwear, and run around the freezing oval semi-naked in the middle of the night. At the time it seemed like he was just being a prick, but looking back knowing what we know today you’d have to wonder, wouldn’t you?

It was just a bit of a wank hey? Of course it was Sir, and you’re just a lot of a wanker, and there are plenty more stories I could tell to go with the couple of vignettes I’ve shared above, and don’t you worry about that.

But that’s not the purpose of this story.

The purpose of this story is to question what the hell sort of message are St Paul’s School sending to victims, parents and current students by naming one of the School Houses after a person who concealed a pedophile’s crimes, covered them up, and then allowed him to continue on his merry way in a position of trust and authority in the church?

And why is a bloke who has been accused by a witness in a Royal Commission of being aware of sexual abuse by the school counselor, and writing it off as a nothing more than a bit of a wank, allowed to be the Master in Charge of the House named after the knighted cover-up king ‘Sir’ John Grindrod.

Answer – because they still don’t get it.

It’s just like the flock of jailed kiddy fiddlers the church allows to hang out in the Valley and read the bible aloud to a congregation full of top end of towners, and serve them the mass-produced wafers and cheap wine that masquerade as the body and blood of Christ.

They just don’t get it.

I wonder if they ever will.

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Former Archbishop – and arch kiddy-fiddling cover-up merchant – John Grindrod clearly has a thing for shaking hands with Queens