Saturday, December 26, 2009

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman

Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
The day I met Hamidur I was given a boon. I'd been asked by Richard P to see if I would work at Hurlstone AHS in the evening as a boarder tutor supervisor. I was to be paid for a days work, but I wouldn't have to be present in the morning at breakfast and would be allowed to leave for home after 10pm. My only real concern was to be able to get from my day job at Canley Vale HS to Hurlstone before the clock on time of 4pm, but even there Richard was prepared to be gracious. Apparently Hurlstone were running a staff in-service and so casuals were being called in while all the regular staff were to be at the in-service.
My problem was trying to get to the 4pm time, and the hurdle was the day school. I left Canley Vale HS at 3:05 pm. A train arrived at Canley Vale Railway station at 3:09 and 3:24. The railway station was a half hour walk away. Sometimes I would get a lift from my work supervisor Helen B. But Helen liked to leave after parents had picked up school kids for the end of the day, and the streets had cleared of their daily traffic jam. If I missed the 3:24 then I could catch the 3:39, but that arrived at Glenfield Railway station at about 4pm and then I would be a few minutes late which I didn't want to be, even if Richard was being gracious.
It was a coolish day, as winters in Sydney can be. Not so cool as to require a jacket during the day, but cool enough to want to wear a couple of shirts in the evening. I would need to pack in my bag a jacket I wouldn't be wearing in the day for the evening, and so my bag was stuffed with things I didn't look at, but might need, or want, during the day.
I took pride in my work at the day school, and marked papers the day I got them to return to my students as soon as possible. Helen did the same, so she never gave me credit for the extra work I did that other staff wouldn't. My test papers were printed documents so the kids wouldn't have to read my poor handwriting. I ran a lunchtime Chess Club and did my normal playground supervision duties on top. I provided enrichment material for high end kids. I hosed down fires caused by bickering among faculty staff who appeared to resent doing anything more than the minimum. I was criticized outrageously by Helen, she would tell me that the Principal had instructed her to. She said that Geoff had formed the view I did very little and was sponging off my day job and earning extra elsewhere. I felt he was welcome to his apparently bigoted views (he was a slightly different religion to me, not that it mattered to me). I didn't feel the need to prove myself further. I did an excellent job even if he failed to recognize it and I knew he couldn't fairly point to any slackness on my part. I trusted Helen, even as I felt frustrated by her apparent unwillingness to take my part or recognize the extra work I did. Helen had come to the school a few years earlier and we had discovered her Father in law was a fellow soldier of my fathers dad. My grandfather had been a good person for others to talk to, but not a good man for my family, and so I welcomed Helen, although I didn't give her details about my grandads' shortcomings.
I got to Hurlstone a little early, and passed Richard. He explained about the in-service but ignored my questions about the year 7's. Hurlstone was building a new residential block for their students, and yeart 7's were being housed in temporary accommodation of demountable classrooms. Heating had been provided, but the kids were damaging the furniture that wasn't perfect. I had suggested that the damaged furniture be removed quickly. Richard had reason to ignore me. He was trying to get rid of me from the boarding school. The previous year I had called his bluff of sniping at me by facing him before the school deputy Joe and pointing out that Richard's undermining of me was unprofessional. Richard had retaliated by having my accommodation declared unfit for use and so I was living off campus, expecting to not be employed shortly.
I did my supervisory walk around the grounds and came across one kid being bullied. unlike the vast majority of caucasion kids who loved Rugby, this was a sensitive Indian ethnic child. I asked him if he liked Rugby, and he answered he didn't, and he wasn't my religion either. I was rather taken aback by the assertion, as I don't generally talk about my religion at school, but I figured it for an inspired guess. I gathered he liked books and he could stand up for himself.
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Pt 2 follows
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