Sunday, April 18, 2010

How Much Can a Koala Bear?

"The Tea Party is about love and respect"
"Grog39" on a CNN iReport

"Instead of simple dreams there is ugly division and abuse, much of it racial in tone: "The Zoo has an African Lion and the White House has a Lyin' African," read a sign at the 9/12 march. We need to talk about America."
Anne Summers in Tea stands for trouble as unity goes to pot

"Teacup" by Janina Green
Yes I know the Tea Party people can talk a lot of rubbish, but it wasn't the chutzpah comment about love and respect made by Grog39 on the CNN iReport that riled me; it was the fact that he illustrated his rant with a photo of a koala. What's a koala got to do with the American tea party? Last I heard, the koala is native to Australia, rarely drinks water let alone tea, and has little interest in the lunatic fringe.

It occurs to me that Grog39 is an Aussie. Wanna bet he's a 39 year old Aussie? Most likely he drinks beer. I think Tea Party people would be beer drinkers rather than wine drinkers, and the "Grog" in the name he's hiding behind lends weight to this theory.

Whatever. He's an insult to all thinking koalas.

I'm so angry with the Tea Party that I need to take my fury out on another organization. I don't want to talk about the Tea Party too much as I suspect that for them, any publicity is good publicity. They are best ignored. But I need to get rid of my anger some how, so I have decided to take on the Catholic Church, in particular the "Christian Bothers". I'm going to DEMAND a formal apology from the good brothers of the "Christian" church. There's a group called Broken Rites Australia whose byline is, "fighting church sexual abuse since 1992", and they have helped me draft a letter.

I'm going to send the letter to Director of Professional Standards, Catholic Church Victoria.

Me and my dad a hundred years ago
Part of the letter reads, "My father, William Thomas Juliff (born in 1914 but now deceased) was an orphan at St Augustine's boys home, Geelong, Victoria, about 1920 to 1924 (both those date are approximate). He was put there was he was about six.

Many years ago, my father told us that he was sexually abused at St Augustine's. Unfortunately we didn't believe him.

His brother John (Jack) Juliff (now also deceased) was also at St Augustine's at this time.
My father worked in the laundry and had little if any schooling. [...] I believe the sex was oral sex but cannot know for sure. My father left the church and hated to think of it. As a consequence we were brought up as non-Catholics."

I tried once before to get information about my father's time at the orphanage, but was never answered. On their "historical information" web page it states, in bold, "Please do NOT ask for information on people in this or other orphanages in the Geelong region - this web site ONLY covers people and details listed in the previously published microfiche of Admissions Discharges for the years 1857-1878 - I have NO other years, NO other people, NO other information!"

Let's see if I get an answer to my letter this time.

Still, it occurs to me that the "brothers" did me a favor. Had they been kindly souls and practised what they preached, then I could have very well have been brought up a Christian.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I was a boarding school kid, 1st. the Christian Brothers, then the Patrician Brot, then the Sisters of St Joseph (St. Mary McKilopp's mob) and finally the Jesuits. I can say that I was never sexually abused, but they sure laid on the cane, the strap and the mental abuse.
I got a reasonably good education when compared with to-day's U.S. public school education. But I vowed I would not raise my kids as Catholics nor any other Christian religion, nor would I ever send them to private schools.
And I am happy with the results.
But my heart goes out to those boys and girls who were sexually abused and I suspect that their mental growth was stunted as a result. The one instance when I was abused by a pedophile affected me for about 10 years. I felt responsible for his behaviour. That's the way it affects kids and luckily I got over it.

Grahame said...

why didn't you believe your father, Kate?

Kate said...

Well I was only a kid when he told us and it didn't have much impact. Also he was an actor - dramatic and I could never tell what was real with him. When I was 13 my parents split for good and I rarely saw him after that (he moved to NZ).

Anonymous said...

Thank God for left leaning Aussies to show us ugly Americans the error in our ways. How dare we oppose our annointed leaders

Leonie said...

Hi Kate, I am sorry for the childhood your father endured at St Augustine's Boys Orphanage.
I'm from a national support and advocacy network CLAN for anyone who grew up in the 600 plus orphanages and children's Homes Australia once had.I can assist you to get your father's records from the orphanage and also if he was made a Victorian State Ward.How sad your Father and your Uncle never got the chance to tell their stories to the Senate Inquiry and be acknowledged.
Best wishes and Hooroo
Leonie Sheedy

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