Nearly forgot too, got a call yesterday on my mobile from someone introducing himself as police inspector blah blah blah from the child abuse section, or whatever they call it. Why on earth is he calling me I wondered, before sitting done to take in the news.
As it turns out he was calling me on spec. “Are you the H who went to school at etc?”
“Well yes,” I said, “I am.” He seem as surprised as me. Well then, this is the drill…
Turns out someone has made a complaint against one of the teachers at my old primary school. I was not surprised, and knew exactly who they were talking of. Did I have anything particular to add to the case? Not really. I never had any untoward dealings with the guy, though he was a creepy prick of a character. There were a couple of things though.
I always remember my last day of primary school. How old am I? 12? Anyway it’s the last half hour and the headmaster comes in to say his piece. He may well have wished us good luck and godspeed and all that predictable stuff, but that’s not what I remember.
What I remember is him picking on 2-3 students in class, including me. Earlier in the day we had played a game of rounders while he watched on. When fielding I was on first base. He alleged in his final farewell to us that I had desired to trip and to maim every batter that came my way. I have a feeling I said something to this, but I can’t recall. I was pretty flabbergasted – an uncommon sensation at 12 – as most there were. And that was that.
A couple of years later he accused my sister, and others who had elder brothers who had gone through the school, of having incestuous relations with each other. It’s amazing now to think how he got away with such stuff. And it’s no surprise that he got up to worse than that, of which there were vague rumours for years.
I remember maybe 18 years ago he was in the news as being an Australian hostage on a hijacked jet in the middle-east. At the time I hoped, uncharitably, that he might be the first the hijackers chose to make an example of. Not to be, but maybe his comeuppance is finally on it’s way.