The church acknowledges child-abuse at this orphanage but, as usual, it is resisting a proper financial settlement for a victim

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated¬†8 February 2021

In recent years, the Catholic order of Christian Brothers in Australia have made small payments to several sex-abuse victims of Brother Donald Pascal Alford at St Augustine's boys' home, Geelong, in the state of Victoria. In 2021, one former inmate of this orphanage (let's refer to him as "Basil") has engaged a Melbourne legal firm to tackle the Christian Brothers organisation, demanding a proper amount of compensation for abuse which Basil says he suffered at the hands of Brother Alford at this orphanage. As usual, the church lawyers (and accountants) are resisting the amount of compensation that Basil is seeking but Basil is determined to obtain justice.

Broken Rites has discovered that, after Brother Alford committed these crimes in Australia, the Christian Brothers allowed him to transfer to the United States, where he targeted more victims at a boys' institution in the state of Connecticut.

According to Broken Rites Australia research, Donald Alford (born 23 September 1938) was himself an ex-inmate of Catholic orphanages including (in his teens) St Augustine's. At St Augustine's, he received little formal education and became an apprentice boot repairman before leaving to join the workforce. In his late teens, he decided to join the Christian Brothers and went back to school for more secondary schooling to Year 10 level. At age 21, he was professed as a Christian Brother and took the religious name of Brother Pascal Alford, in honour of an older member of the order. After an initial appointment at the Christian Brothers school at Bundoora in Melbourne, he worked at St Augustine's from 1970 to 1978. He took charge of one of the dormitories and also acted as a general rouse-about.

In 1993, Brother Alford moved to the USA where he worked for ten years at Mount Saint John, a Catholic home and school for boys in Deep River, Connecticut, where there have been complaints about Alford again sexually abusing boys.

In 2001-3, several ex-inmates of St Augustine's each told Broken Rites Australia, separately, that Brother Pascal Alford sexually abused them at that institution in the 1970s. These ex-inmates were not associated with each other. They were of different ages, having been born between 1959 and 1965. On the advice of Broken Rites, at least two of these ex-inmates took out-of-court civil action against the Christian Brothers, demanding a settlement. Consequently, the Christian Brothers made out-of-court settlements with both these victims in return for them not suing the Christian Brothers in the civil courts.

Brother Alford died on 14 April 2004. In the Christian Brothers, he was still officially "reverend". His grave is at the Christian Brothers' Cemetery at Parade College, in Plenty Road, Bundoora, in Melbourne's north-east.

The name Pascal Alford has sometimes been spelt as Paschal Alford.