The second Brother, Br Aribert, noted that Br Marceau had problems with the boys. He and the other Brothers did not agree with Br Marceau’s methods of teaching and punishment. He said he could be a bit severe at times. He also said that he should have been able to complain to someone about this Brother, but could not. He accepted that Br Bevis would have had the authority to discipline Brothers, but that did not seem to happen.
Br Aribert felt that Br Lafayette was ‘strict ... harsh maybe on occasions’ and ‘ran a very tight ship’. He recalled a day when he was given the task of supervising the boys during a meal. He was ‘nearly terrified going out there’, but a boy whom he described as Br Lafayette’s ‘right-hand man’ made him ‘completely redundant’ and ran the whole show. He could not say, however, whether this was due to Br Lafayette’s good organisational skills or an element of fear. However, he did recall one particular act of kindness, when Br Lafayette procured apples and biscuits for the boys.
This same former resident told the Investigation Committee that, apart from Br Lafayette and two other Brothers,15 ‘it was a lovely school’. He felt the rest of the Brothers did the best with what they had.
Br Aribert told the Committee that it was never addressed when a Brother acted in breach of the guidelines on corporal punishment that were set down in their Acts of Chapter. He acknowledged that some Brothers probably overstepped them at times.
Br Aribert stated that he did not recall the subject of Br Garon’s showering with the boys being discussed. He told the Committee, however, that he did recall some of the boys not wanting to go to the showers but they never told him why. He felt it was because boys of that age did not like to shower in the middle of winter. He added, ‘it wasn’t for the reason that they were being abused that came across to me’. He never heard any boy complain about the ‘supposed carry on’ with the Brother. If Br Garon was abusing boys, he did not know how a tiny community could not be aware of it. He also told the Committee that he believed someone else was in charge of the showers when Br Garon was still there. He did not know why Br Garon was taken off that job.
The first of these Brothers, Br Aribert, said that there was only one case while he was there of a boy complaining of being sexually abused by another boy. He said that it was dealt with, but did not give any further details. Br Bevis recalled an occasion when a boy was punished by two Brothers for abusing a younger boy.
Br Aribert, who was in the School in the early 1960s, told the Committee he disagreed with Br Marceau’s teaching methods. He had charts ‘all over the walls’ and he made the boys go around learning them. He felt that the boys did not like this system.
Br Aribert, whilst accepting only that one of the Brothers was maybe harsh ‘on occasions’ towards the boys, also identified a loneliness in them. He did not know if the emotional needs of the boys were adequately catered for. He said that, whenever he or any Brother was on yard duty, the boys came and linked with them (three or four on each side of the Brother) and he felt it meant a lot to them, ‘that at least they had someone literally to hang on to’. He felt that there was an element of the boys feeling rejection and loneliness, even though they did not say so in so many words.
Two Brothers, Brs Aribert and Chapin, stated that they felt that they had a good relationship personally with the boys, and both said that generally the relationship between the Brothers and the boys was very good. Br Aribert referred to the boys needing someone to literally hang onto, and also said that the staff who were there in his time were ‘very caring people’. He mentioned one particular Brother, Br Reve, who was like a father figure.