Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 2:58 pm
By prove us wrong do you mean have the strength to break away?
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:09 pm
Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:27 pm
Katharine has kindly emailed me answers to the three questions I recently posted here.
First, a reminder of my questions:
1) Did you write the eulogy to Mr Debenham that has been attributed to you?
2) Do you stand by it?
3) Ignoring for the moment the fact that your apparent distaste for the beating of little boys doesn't prevent you from praising to the skies the SES's beater-in-chief, who, Katharine, was this teacher "guilty of definite abuse"?
Here are Katharine's answers:
2) Yes. It is customary when staff leave for articles to be published in the school magazine thanking them for the work they have done and praising their good qualities. I described, as honestly as I could, the man
I have known and loved as a friend for many years, and for whom as a
colleague I developed an enormous respect during the time we worked
together. Nothing I ever saw of him remotely resembles the descriptions you and others have posted on the website. I have witnessed at first hand over the past seven years his understanding kindness ? listening sympathetically to young people with troubled lives, generously helping them in whatever ways he could (often anonymously); his real love for every pupil in the school and his delighted appreciation of their characters; his utterly fair treatment of miscreants ? always insisting on hearing both sides of the story I could go on. I also saw how the boys themselves loved him. Often they didn't agree with his views (no more did I), but they held him in the greatest affection and respect. Some of the younger ones begged him not to retire, and when he was ill they all wanted to rush round and visit him.
I realise this does not fit your version of the truth ? which, by the way, I
do not disbelieve - and I am sorry if it makes you sick and angry all over
again. However, you are quite wrong in thinking that my sympathy for you and others who suffered under what I now know to have been an extremely harsh and repressive regime was some sort of pose. I was a little startled, I must confess, to be suddenly attacked, in some cases libelled, by a series of people to whom I have never knowingly done harm, and whose search for truth and, I hope, eventual reconciliation I have always supported and continue to support. It is strange to find myself apparently cast as a hate figure, and I find it odd that people cannot, it seems, imagine the possibility of not taking sides, of being able to appreciate that any tragedy has two sides to it. Nonetheless, I still hope that with honesty and good will on both sides the past can be brought out into the open, acknowledged and finally healed. Surely nobody but a madman could wish for anything other than this?
As for your third question, I have already given you my answer. I am
confident that the matter will come out in the course of the inquiry. I
cannot help wondering what is your motive for asking.