Reunion for farm orphans

THE Riverview Training Farm for Boys will hold a third reunion to mark 35 years since the home was closed after being almost destroyed by flooding.

The farm opened in 1893 and subjected orphaned boys to years of physical, sexual, verbal and mental abuse by members of the Salvation Army.

At this time of year event organiser Robert Toreaux is busy answering calls and offering support to more and more boys who are becoming brave enough to come forward and tell their story.

“The reunion this Sunday will offer survivors the chance to bring to the surface the feelings of guilt, shame, hatred and fear most have repressed since they left the home,” he said.

“I am working on behalf of the boys to gain sponsorship for a notice board with all boys' names on it to be put on wall of the home.

“I am looking for anyone who knows of other boys' names who were in here at sometime in their life to send them to me so they can be included.”

Bundamba's Cliff Muir, now a widow, never spoke a word of the abuse to his late wife, with whom he shared almost 60 years of marriage.

“I'd have my down days, you know days where the sadness would get a bit much and I would just close up,” Mr Muir said.

“Now I feel more comfortable talking about it - I just want to make sure this goes down in history so it never happens again.”

In a statement issued by The Salvation Army in 2006: “The Salvation Army is deeply regretful of any incident of abuse perpetrated by any of its staff. During the 1940s to '70s some children in our care were subjected to abuse. We have attempted to bring healing by making a personal apology. “

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