The Royal Masonic Boys Schools were established in the early twentieth century to give a boarding education to the sons of deceased freemasons. I was sent to one at the age of nine until I emerged at eighteen hungry for the freedoms of university life.
Why am I writing the story of my time there? Well I am NOT writing the story because I am bitter about my treatment there as a fatherless young boy, although much of it was harsh.
I am not bitter because
- It doesn’t get you anywhere anyway
- I personally was never abused in any sexual or other serious way (although some very dodgy moments)
- I did get an education that has served me well in many respects (leading to a good degree in Classics)
- Thousands of freemasons gave generously to fund a very expensive group of institutions (swallowing some £50,000 a day in today’s money)
- As is true for the many boys I have seen in urban schools growing up without the influence of a father, I would not have fared well at home
Whilst I would definitely choose open bowel surgery in the woods with a stick over the option of repeating the whole nine years, I have no serious regrets.
Others of course see things differently. So here are two takes on the Royal Masonic Junior and Senior Schools.
Here is a typical comment from an ex Masonic boy from the website of Geoff Kirby, himself a Masonic boy, whose website documents many such contributions.
“My brother and I still to this day have nightmares about that hell hole and do not think that we have fully recovered. We were both deprived of a childhood and abused as children. I hope that one day I meet those bastards on the other side so I can inflict the same torment on them that we endured”
By contrast here is a link to a video (part 1 of 2) of a publicity film made by a freemason to assist in the considerable fundraising efforts necessary to keep the schools afloat. Enjoy. It is unbelievable!
Literally. Take for instance the master who picks up and carries in the suitcase of a young boy stepping out of a taxi to be greeted by the headmaster on day one of his arrival age 9. How nice, except I recognise him as Mr King (“Kingy”) ex-Chrystal Palace footballer (reputedly) and sadistic French teacher who always beat you on bare buttocks. And he beat frequently, even for minor slips in French lessons.
Here it is http://vimeo.com/1632152