Monday, September 17, 2007

The Early Years

Born in the shadow of this forbidding mountain, the youngest of a family of nine in the worst of post-war Hobart poverty and squalor, an older brother constantly suppressed him and the rest of the family often ignored this skinny, hyper kid who constantly asked awkward questions. Physically abused by siblings and relatives, he was eventually sexually abused by the then-serving Anglican Bishop of that time, Geoffrey Cranswick, when his parents moved to Bishops’ Court in Hobart as domestic help.

This was a devastating blow for a boy that had taught himself to read and write by four and a half years of age and eventually jumped a couple of years at school due to his bright mind. He lapsed into a laconic state and after constant caning and corporal punishment from a sardonic 4th grade teacher, found himself in the care of the Government Psychiatrist. This education professional found in this “ugly Duckling” an underlying sharp and engaging intellect and rated his IQ at “way above average”.

Years later, this act of barbarism by the then Bishop (probably the highest ranking Australian Anglican to be successfully named and shamed for such an act) came home to haunt the Church through Tappy’s tenacious legal pursuit of the matter. It now encompasses two Anglican Primates, several registrars and employees and has the makings of the biggest Church scandalin recent Australian History. His book on the affair tells the story in great detail. It is sure to cause a considerable stir because of its precise and factual descriptions and reproductions of signed personal letters. Tappy’s memory has always been quite amazing and served him well indeed during this trying time.

Contact Tappy at:
Phone (61) 0449 074 232