(1) Brother Benoit Lessard
Brother Lessard, as we know, died in March 1980. We also know that in the 70s he would take his Grade 6 Class to Camp KEEP to teach the boys sex ed. As I wrote on the Brother Lessard page:
After the classes the boys had to line up to have one-on-one chats with Brother Lessard about sex. The word is that a number of boys were molested during these ‘chats.’
I had wondered if Camp KEEP was part of Brother Lessard’s sex ed program in the 60s as well.
No. It seems that was not the case. What I am being told is that Brother Lessard was conducting ‘counselling’ sessions with his Grade 6 boys on site at St. Mary’s. I get the impression that those sessions may have been the precursor to the Camp KEEP sessions?
So here is what I have been told…
In the top floor landing of the school there is/was access to the rooftop. On rare occasions the boys were allowed to have their recess on the rooftop. Those who know the building will without doubt know exactly what I am talking about.
Also on that landing was a small private office. Lessard would take to that office to ‘counsel’ the boys. The boys were summoned to the room one-at-a-time, and one a day. The session was usually conducted before lunch break. These sessions carried on until he had had the entire Grade 6 class in for ‘counselling.’
He asked the boys questions, ie “Do you know how to make babies?,” “Do you play with yourself?” “Can you show me how you do that?” Some boys were called in several times. Others once.
The boys talked abut this amongst themselves. They talked about the weird questions, and about being asked to demonstrate how to masturbate. Most were afraid of Lessard who has been described by some as a disciplinarian who “ruled by fear.”
(2) Brother John Paradis
I am told that Brother Paradis did a lot of hanging around the pool. Despite the fact that the boys did have a swimming coach (not by the way Kotakemori), Brother John was invariably around the indoor pool, and almost invariably peering through the window access to the deep end, watching the boys swim and play in the water.
And then, when swimming class was over and the boys headed to the locker room to change back into their school uniforms, who was often right on their heels? That’s right: Brother John.
And yes, the boys noticed his presence, and found his behavior “odd,” so much so that they recall it to this very day. They recall that Brother John was always around the indoor pool, and always “peering” through that window, and so often following them into the locker-room when they headed off to change.
Please remember to keep any and all victims of sex abuse at SMIS in your prayers.
There are a couple of other things I hope to check into which will probably take some time – will get to that this coming week.
Also, as noted elsewhere on the site, the Phys Ed. teacher in the 60s and perhaps into the early 70s at St. Mary’s was Kotakemori.
Finally for those may have missed it, I posted this article of interest earlier today:
20 March 2014: ASIJ admits honored teacher sexually abused students
It gives me chills.
Here are two prestigious schools in Japan. At St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo several of the Brothers of Christian Instruction were molesting the boys, while over at the American International School in Japan a certain Jack Moyer was molesting girls.
A reminder that most of the Brothers at the school in those years were born and raised in Quebec, and that the Brothers in Quebec are responsible for SMIS and three other schools in Japan.
Enough for now,