At age seven, Graham Rundle was taken by his father for a ‘holiday’ to Eden Park, a Salvation Army boys’ home outside Adelaide. As soon as his father left, Graham was given old clothes to wear and told from now on he was known as ‘44’. The book vividly portrays what happened to Graham over the following eight years, from 1959 until 1968, living in fear of sexual abuse by the people who were supposed to care for him.
This extraordinary book contrasts the dark moments of unbelievable depravity with some of the sweetest and most innocent acts of kindness. As well as portraying life in the home, Graham writes of his taste of freedom at high school and at Indigenous camps at the Koorong, and of his time spent with his beloved, lifesaving Nana.
About the Author
At sixteen, after a childhood that no child should have to endure, Graham Rundle ran away from Eden Park in South Australia, where he had been left at the age of seven. 44 is his story of those years and much more, written as his recollection of those times and used in the court case so successfully brought to bear against the organisation that treated him and many others so appallingly.
From then on, with no life skills and no family support, he built a life with resilience, determination and despite everything he had experienced a belief in the basic goodness in himself and those he loved and who loved him.
In 2001, Graham commenced proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court against the institution which had allowed the dreadful abuse that he suffered to happen and to continue to happen for several years.
Graham is one of a handful of survivors of child abuse to win his case for an Extension of Time to the Statute of Limitations to take his case forward against the institution involved. He also won the Appeal and was granted leave to take his case to trial. Graham was a prime witness in the case against the perpetrator of the abuse by the South Australian Deputy of Public Prosecutions. This prosecution was successful and resulted in the perpetrator being sentenced to a long jail term.
Graham's compelling and inspiring book 44 will be published by The 5 Mile Press, early 2014.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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I initially read about this story in a take 5 magazine and just had to buy the book to read the full story.
This was such a sad, horrible and yet such an emotional story that I found it very hard to put the book down. No one should ever have to go through this.
I never once doubted its contents, but felt so angry that not only do these paedophiles stand behind their religion, but others bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it doesn't happen.
My disappointment is that this story didn't conclude with this vital climax - the court case where the Salvation Army was held accountable for what happened.
Graham Rundle is an amazing man and I applaud him for taking on the Salvation Army and telling his story.
I read this book to discover if this actually happened with the people involved. I am now convinced that it did and I am shocked by the cruelty.
Published: 1st July 2014
Country of Publication: AU