Mr Olivero said that, when he arrived at the School, he was told that if any boy committed a misdemeanour he should be sent to the Head Brother, Br Arrio, who would look after him. He said that Br Arrio was regarded as a strict disciplinarian and the boys were fearful of him. He agreed that the boys had good reason to be afraid of him. He explained: if a boy did commit any misdemeanour, if he fought in the yard and if he didn’t try and pull himself together, all I had to say was, okay, do you want to go to Br Arrio and they’d say no.
Mr Olivero also confirmed in oral evidence a particular method of punishment that was referred to by complainants and which is outlined below. This involved the boys climbing a ladder in a storeroom and Br Arrio beating them with a cane.
Mr Olivero was asked if he could confirm punishment by Br Arrio that involved the use of a cane and a ladder in the storeroom, and he said: I knew it happened. I never saw it happening, it was just hearsay. It was known that punishment was administered there and that there was a record kept to be seen by a representative of the Department of Education.
His colleague, Mr Olivero, who gave evidence to the Committee, insisted Br Garcia had a great rapport with the boys and ‘... wasn’t severe or anything like that. He would be a disciplinarian, as I would have been myself, I presume’.
Mr Olivero, who had no qualms about denouncing Br Arrio as too harsh and severe, nonetheless felt that there was not a violent regime. He said: There was discipline there, there was strict discipline, but I mean it was no different to what it was in an ordinary primary school ... in the absence of parents we did the best we could. What more could we do?