'Old boys' have a plan for Keaney's bones

Last week, in preparation for his testimony to the royal commission, feisty Welshman Gordon Grant took a trip to Karrakatta cemetery with another of the "old boys" of Christian Brothers homes.

"I counted 79 Christian Brothers buried there, we counted 14 who are repeat offenders," he said. "They were notorious paedophiles of these four institutions (Bindoon, Tardun, Castledare and Clontarf boys' homes)."

Mr Grant told the inquiry yesterday of a wish that would bring him relief from the lasting depression and flashbacks to beatings and sexual abuse at Bindoon, led by the infamous tyrant, Brother Paul Keaney.

"We want the mortal remains of Brother Keaney taken up and his mortal remains, what is left of them, to be reinterred at the brothers' plot at Karrakatta," he said. "Bindoon is no place for him now. It is a co-educational college with 140 students.

"So if that is done, Keaney's bones will be with his mates at Karrakatta and in regard to the marble tombstone, that can go down to the piggery. The pigs will find use for it, I'm sure."

The final ex-resident to testify publicly at the inquiry, Mr Grant also made a request that the Christian Brothers fund a centre in Fremantle where ex-residents meet to get counselling and company in their twilight years.

The abuse and exploitation Mr Grant suffered as a teen still keeps him awake most nights but yesterday his tears came as he spoke of the "old boys" who did not survive long enough to testify.

He spoke about an "ex-Bindoon boy who was very good looking", who had suffered extensive sexual abuse and believed he would get $200,000 compensation from a class action and told his story on television.

"He did go into graphic detail about his abuse and unfortunately when he got home, his wife was furious," Mr Grant said.

"She said, you never told me, I'm horrified. She said you're a poofter, you're no longer in my life and don't ever touch our three sons, ever. He left there and went to a unit in Vic Park.

"He never forgot the word faggot being yelled at him by his wife.

"He got counselling, prescription drugs. I called around to see him. He stopped work and it happened. He committed suicide.

"There were others who committed suicide. I tried to twice."

When Mr Grant left Bindoon, he joined the army and served with distinction for 43 years.

In Perth, he saw old boys homeless on the street and sought them out.

"We encountered 27 ex- institution boys living rough," he said. "Many were alcoholics. I thought, we have to do something about this."

So he founded a support group. Now, he wants the Christian Brothers to pay up: in funding for the meeting centre and Brother Keaney's bones.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14