2 entries for Br DennetBack
A Visitation Report in the late 1930s was critical of a Brother for his free use of the ‘slapper’, which was a shorter and thinner strap than the leather. The Visitor noted that the boys were: well disciplined and I am happy to be able to say that there was no evidence of undue or severe corporal punishment. I was assured by practically all the Brothers that there is very little corporal punishment indulged in. I did come across one case of the free use of the slapper. This was in the class room of Br Maurice. He gave about 16 slaps one after the other. I walked in just at the end. The slaps were not severe and the effect could only help towards demoralising the poor lads. I had a word with Br Wiatt14 and asked him to help Br Maurice to establish his control without having recourse to the useless method of indiscriminate slapping. But it is indeed satisfactory to find that there is very little corporal punishment and that in recent times there has not occurred any instance of undue severity. Br Eliot15 is Master of Discipline and is doing very well in this position. He is very anxious to do his best and he is succeeding very well in his exacting duties. There is still too much reliance on the slapper and not enough on personal influence. The only member of the staff who has succeeded in getting along with the boys without having recourse to corporal punishment is Br Dennet.16 His personal influence is very great, and his single-mindedness and truly Christ-like attitude in his dealing with his boys is having a marked effect for good on them.
One ex-staff member, Br Saber,64 spoke of the importance of the boys’ sodality introduced by the Resident Manager which met once a week: During my ten years there, there was no case against – of sexual abuse brought against a Brother. I would say due to, I suppose, the group that were there and due to the sodality and that the boss was conscious of it and that he would keep an eye out for it and ask the lads. He was an active man, he would come there, he would walk the dormitories at night, he would be around. He had his ear to the ground. Br Dennet was the same. There were Brothers there who knew more about institutes than I did, the younger Brothers. All we thought of was keeping them occupied, taking them out to games, taking them to circuses, you know.