THE QUADRANGLE The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care
Over the past several months, you will have received communications from us and seen media reports about the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. We are working closely with Old Boys who have come forward to share their experiences with us. It’s crucial that we keep our current community updated on this work. Below is the latest communication from Board Chair Hugh Lindo to our Old Boys, that we felt important to share with you.
In December last year, one of our Old Boys spoke to the Commission about the abuse and bullying that he experienced from other boys at Christ’s College in the early 1970s. Since then, we have been in contact with all Old Boys whose electronic contact details we hold. In response, we received emails from Old Boys describing their own traumatic experiences at College. Many of those Old Boys are also survivors of abuse. They described a culture of bullying in all its forms, a culture where they were victimised, a culture where they were not safe, a culture where corporal punishment was condoned and a culture where they could not ask for help, and if they did, it was not there. In our replies to this group of Old Boys we have said we are sorry, that Christ’s College should have been a safe place for them, that it was not and that we failed them. Where we can, we have offered support in any way that is meaningful to a survivor. We have appointed an independent facilitator, Mark Wells, to help with redress, and we have developed an Historical Abuse Complaints Policy which can be found via this website link – https://christscollege.com/ assets/Uploads/Historical-Abuse- Complaints-Policy.pdf
We know that the number who have written to us will represent a larger group who may, or probably likely will not, contact us but who had similar experiences at College as those who have written. To this group, we acknowledge your suffering, acknowledge that for you Christ’s College was a frightening place to be and that we could not keep you safe. For this we are sorry. We know that for many of you, the passage of time will not have dimmed your memories of fear and distress. We cannot undo the past and make right what happened then. We recognise this and encourage you to contact us to discuss how we may be able to provide meaningful support to you going forward. Christ’s College is now confronting the reality of this aspect of its history. For many, this has taken too long. We are now putting the interests of our Old Boys above those of the College. This was not always the case. We will continue to support the work of the Royal Commission of Inquiry and Old Boys who are survivors of abuse. Please find the website link here – https://www.abuseincare.org. nz/. If you would like to talk about your own experiences at Christ’s College, please either ring me on 027 711 7171, email me at email@example.com or write to
me c/- Christ’s College, Private Bag 4900, Christchurch 8140. While our preference is for you to contact me at the College in the first instance, if you prefer not to have direct contact with the school about any issues relating to abuse, you can instead contact Mark Wells directly either by mail at the above address and marking the envelope ‘Confidential,’ or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, we advise that a support group for ex-pupils of Christ’s College is being established by Jim Goodwin, an Old Boy who is experienced in running support groups and who has worked in mental health for many years. This development has the support of the school but will operate separately and distinctively from Christ’s College. Its purpose is to provide a safe, friendly and confidential place where ex-pupils of the school can support each other in their recovery from their time at the school. If you are interested in finding out more about this group, please contact Jim directly to arrange a meeting to confirm if this support group is suitable for you. Jim can be contacted at: jimgoodwin@outlook. co.nz or 021 167 9488.
Christ’s College Canterbury
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