The following statement was made in 2014 by “Jacob Bernstein,” a pseudonym. Brother Marcel/Claude has denied the allegations made against him. Brother Lawrence has admitted he sodomised 11-year-old Jacob.
The first time Jacob mentioned the sexual abuse by Brother Marcel to anyone was in 2014, to his lawyer.
Late 1965, in November or perhaps December.
I was in the Chapel having my lunch. St Mary’s had a school dining room where they served lunch which most boys went to. I did not as they could not prepare a Kosher lunch. Quite a few boys would have had religious and other reasons for not using the dining room. I saw the Chapel door open and went in and started eating my lunch alone. I did not have my feet on the seats, nor was I making a mess. I didn’t think it was not permitted.
Brother Lawrence (Brother Lawrence Guy LAMBERT) came into the Chapel with another “Tokyo Tower” Brother Marcel (also known as Br. Claude VILLEMEUR). Tokyo Tower is an Eiffel Tower type tower, was the tallest structure in Tokyo, Brother Marcel was very tall, hence his nick name. I saw them cross themselves in what I believe to be a Catholic course of action. I only knew his name or recalled his name as Tokyo Tower. I recognised his photograph from the group of photographs which Brother Raymond Ducharme emailed me to pick out Lawrence Lambert in 2013.
In my eleven year old mind (I had my eleventh birthday in August) I assumed in my recall that Tokyo Tower was older than Lambert as he was much taller. When I began my quest I assumed Brother Lawrence would have been long dead and merely wanted to have confirmation he was dead as closure. Hence as Tokyo Tower was “older” he would be dead too. It turned out he was younger and alive as revealed on the Labor Dispute site. I did not ask for an apology from him until later in 2014 as I believed getting one from Lawrence Lambert was a miracle in itself.
Brother Lawrence said I was to be punished for eating in the Chapel. To me that did not make sense as they ate Communion bread. He wouldn’t listen to my reasoning. I was taken to a table near the door and made to face it and drop my pants and bend over. I thought I was to be spanked (although I can’t recall there was any physical punishment at the school). One of them pulled my pants right off.
We used to wear a uniform of blue monogrammed blazer with grey slacks, white shirt and tie, and then change to blue jeans and a St Mary’s t shirt upon arrival and school and before leaving in the afternoons. I was in jeans and t shirt.
Brother Lawrence started to sodomise me. I had no idea of what he was doing, only that it hurt very much. I did not know at the time what Lawrence Lambert did to me. I only knew it hurt. After he finished he took out a handkerchief and dipped it in the bowl of water used for crossing themselves inside the door of the Chapel to wipe his genitals clean. Brother Marcel went next. He put his hands under my t shirt and pulled it up over my head so covering my face. Then he sodomised me as well. I don’t recall it hurting; I think I was in shock. I don’t recall leaving the Chapel or getting dressed.
I had been eating a roll mop herring for lunch. Roll mop herrings usually come in jars and consist of a pickle wrapped in a herring fillet, rolled around and secured with a sharp flat stick skewer. Supermarkets still sell them in jars. I had the skewer in my hand, I squeezed it so hard the skewer stabbed the palm of my hand and I later had to pull it out as it had embedded in my palm somewhat. I did not make a noise. I was too frightened. This year I forced myself to eat a roll mop for the first time in 49 years, they were my favourite as a child. I could now eat them but the flash backs make it not a good experience.
One of them, I am fairly sure it was Brother Lawrence said if I said anything they would punish my brother (“Tom”) who is four years younger (I think he was in grade one). Brother Lawrence took charge. In the beginning it was Brother Lawrence, I don’t recall Brother Marcel speaking at all. In fact I don’t think he did, so it is likely to be Brother Lawrence.
Our maid noticed blood in my underwear and showed my Mother. Without saying anything to me she took me to see Dr Fair, a New Zealander who was the doctor the Australian Embassy used in Tokyo. She has made a statement. The Doctor did not tell her what he found and instead called the Ambassador as he did not know who had assaulted me. I finally told them it was Brother Lawrence, other suspects had been one of the Embassy car pool drivers who drove me to and from school each day with my brother, and our gardener.
I have not read my Mother’s statement for a while. But I recall she writes in her statement that it was a Saturday morning and my Father played tennis at the Embassy each Saturday morning. The four of us went with him that day. Mark and I were dropped off to another diplomat’s house just opposite the Embassy compound (she names who it was). (We did not live in the compound). She went to the Chancellery with the Ambassador’s wife. They watched Brother John enter the office. She recalls Brother Lawrence was there too. She recognised Brother John and named him 2013 from the 16 photographs Brother Raymond had sent me to identify Brother Lawrence.
The Ambassador’s office had a one way glass mirror and my Mother watched and could hear via a grill as to what was happening. She recalls a lot of yelling, and that my Father’s three tennis partners were in the room making seven people (my Father, the Ambassador, three Australian diplomats (she names two of them) and Brothers John and Lawrence. Two of the tennis players grabbed Bother Lawrence from behind and held his arms, the third started punching him in the stomach. Brother John was pushed over and his glasses fell to the floor when he tried to intervene, he got up then sat down. At that stage she and the Ambassador’s wife left.
She later recalls seeing Brothers John and Lawrence being pushed out of the Chancellery door to the driveway. It was Saturday morning and the driveway was protected with a high fence out of public view. Brother john agreed Brother Lawrence would be sent to Canada and never permitted near children. My Father was reposted out of Tokyo and advised to not mention it again if he wanted a career.