Justice system fed victims to “Kids’ Prison”

Mac's Musings—Claude McIntosh
Justice system fed victims to “Kids’ Prison”
Mac's Musings

In June 1969 a dozen members of Cornwall Police Department accompanied by a city magistrate played host to the annual law enforcement field day at St. Joseph’s Training School in Alfred, just east of Ottawa.

The school, run by Roman Catholic Christian Brothers, housed about 200 boys aged 8 to 16, all sent to the institution by the Ontario court system. On this day, nine of the boys – nine to 12 – had been sent by the Cornwall juvenile court system. In most cases, they were convicted of petty crimes and classified as unmanageable delinquents.

The photos that accompanied the story in the Standard-Freeholder were of smiling young faces and quotes from Cornwall cops and the local juvenile judge about what a wonderful job the Brothers were doing to rehabilitate the youths.

The Brother in charge talked about a “father-son like relationship” between the Brothers and the boys. He called it a “family-type setting.”

Four years later, the school was shut down and 16 members of the order were convicted of physically and sexually abusing young residents placed in their care. One of the convicted pervs was the Brother who talked about the “family-type setting.”

One former resident described the place as a “prison for kids.”

The Brothers didn’t have to go out looking for young victims. Cornwall juvenile court – along with others in the province – dropped them off at the front door.

There is no record of public remorse by local justice and court officials who, albeit unwittingly, helped provide the corrupt school with a steady stream of vulnerable victims.

Why didn’t any of the victims take one of the cops or the judge aside at the field days and tell them what was going on?

“Why would they take our word over that of so-called men of God?” asked a former resident. “They (cops and judge) were the ones who sent us there.”

The threat of spending several days in solitary confinement (a four-by-six foot cell with a steel bed) for “lying” to officials discouraged residents from ratting out the perverts.

A veteran OPP detective who was part of the team that investigated the Brothers said that when it came to the guy in charge, he had never interviewed a colder, more arrogant, more defiant sexual predator.

“He had that ‘how dare you’ attitude,” he said. “He was ice cold.”

ALSO THIS MONTH IN 1969: Peter Oaks, who was among 16 Mohawk steelworkers who survived the 1898 Cornwall International Bridge collapse, died at age 93. The collapse during construction of the span killed 22 steelworkers, mostly from Akwesasne. … Courtaulds (Canada) announced that it was closing its Rayon and yarn spinning operations. It would mean the loss of 650 jobs. … St. Michael’s Academy, operated by the Sisters of Sacred Heart for 16 years, held its final graduation. Debbie Adams became the final valedictorian. … Annette Bourdon was crowned La Semaine Francaise Queen. …Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Separate School Board teachers were given a 16% salary increase over one year. The new salary range, based on tenure and education, was $7,600 to $10,100. … St. John Bosco parish celebrated the 25th anniversary of its pastor Rev. Aime Leduc. He became the parish’s second pastor in 1965. … Cornwall natives Michael Johnson and Gerry Guindon graduated from Royal Military College (RMC). … Const. Arnold O’Malley resigned from Cornwall Police Department to set up a security company known as O’Malley Security. He pitched the idea of using security guards to assist city police with routine duties such as traffic control and parking enforcement. He noted that it would save the police department money. Two years earlier, O’Malley made national news for nabbing speeding motorists while off-duty. … Allan Campbell was appointed superintendent of Ontario Provincial Police District 11 headquarters in Long Sault. He came to the area from London. … Fire destroyed Finch Arena. … The National Indian Brotherhood criticized the federal policy introduced by Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien to make native people “citizens of Canada just like other Canadians.” The policy was viewed as an erosion of rights that made “native people more than just citizens of Canada.” Leaders called it “cultural genocide.” … The Cornwall Minor Soccer Association registration reached 100. Games were played at Alexander Park. … The second annual Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame induction saw 51 new members inducted. … Ron McAllister edged his brother, Alex, by one stroke to win the 12th annual O’KeefeTournament at Cornwall Golf and Country Club. … Chuck Li scored four times and had six assists to lead Oshawa Green Gaels to a 28-11 win over Peterborough Teepees in an Ontario Lacrosse Association Junior game. Li starred with Cornwall Wildcats before moving up to the Gaels. … Kevin McMillan and Sandy O’Neill each belted over-the-fence home runs as Courtaulds defeated Domtar 5-2 in a North End Fastball League game at King George Park. … With enrolment climbing, 30 new teachers were hired for General Vanier Secondary School, bringing the teacher complement to 90 from 75. The new building opened in 1967. The new teachers came from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia.

TRIVIA It finished life in 1973 as Gordon’s Ice Plant, but in 1907 a building at Augustus and Water streets was a: 1) Canada Steam Ship warehouse, 2) Barrel-making factory, 3) Furniture factory, 4) Brewery, 5) Blacksmith shop.

TRIVIA ANSWER In his autobiography “From Lawbreaker to Lawmaker”, former Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon recounted how he had a sideline selling Fuller Brush products and Electrolux vacuums while working at Courtaulds.

QUOTED How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are? – Baseball pitching legend Satchell Paige

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