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Bert McGregor interviewed by Caroline Evans in the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 4978017
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Author
McGregor, Bert, 1941-, Interviewee
 
Online Access
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2010 
2 sound files (ca. 211 min.) 
Series

Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project.

Technical Details

Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web. 

Summary

Bert McGregor born 1941, in Aberdeen, Scotland talks about his siblings; his family being Roman Catholic; having no memories of living at home; unmarried mother, being taken to Nazareth House at two months old; mother refusing permission for his adoption; being told he was a war orphan, later finding out he had family (1987); his memories of Nazareth House in Scotland; arriving in Australia at the age of five, enjoying the trip, being cared for by nuns, a priest, and older children; the effects of institutionalisation; Sisters of St Joseph; emotional and psychological support; Castledare orphanage; not being able to read, good at mathematics; The Brothers; children's limited education; farm work and being chief sacristan; daily routine at Clontarf and Castledare orphanages; going on hunger strike; evening and prayer routine; learning about animals and gardening; the children living a monastic life, finding religion comforting; his friendships; no acknowledgement of birthdays; joining the Christian Brothers to become a religious teacher; spending his holidays with the Smith family; corporal punishment used as discipline; no inspections by state officials; music playing an important part in boys' lives; later in his life conducting survey concerning sexual abuse cases.

McGregor speaks about working in Fiji for two years; suffering depression; Christian Brothers encouraging him to leave the order; writing his book about surviving abuse, 'With God behind the Eight Ball'; being unemployed, sent by the Church to the Kimberley to teach Aboriginal children; Barry Coldrey; returning to Fiji again; a missing chapter to his book; pedophiles; the personal cost of being a whistle blower; discovering that Alex McDonald was his brother; meeting his brother while visiting his mother in Aberdeen; the difficulties bonding with his birth family because of cultural differences; meeting his brother Jimmy; not knowing if Mary, another sister, exists; mental illness, religion providing consolation; the psychological abuse starting at Castledare orphanage when he was eight; deciding to become a Christian Brother; his journey from Clontarf to Strathfield; learning to read; becoming a teacher, encouraging creativity, teaching music and art; the Church encouraging him to become a missionary; child abuse; enjoyed teaching in different cultures; counselling care leavers; missing other Christian Brothers and friends.

Notes

Recorded on 1 October 2010 in Burnie, Tas.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (6 p.) and corrected transcript available (typescript, 90 leaves) 
Subjects McGregor, Bert, - 1941-  |  Christian Brothers - Australia.  |  Educators - Tasmania - Interviews.  |  Immigrant children, British - Institutional care - Western Australia.  |  Children - Institutional care - Western Australia - Psychological aspects.
Occupation Educators.
Other authors/contributors Evans, Caroline, 1950-, Interviewer

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Details Collect From
ORAL TRC 6200/24
Copy: Recording
Petherick Reading Room (Oral History)
ORAL TRC 6200/24 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Petherick Reading Room (Oral History)
ORAL TRC 6200/24 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Petherick Reading Room (Oral History)

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Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.