Victim #4 ~ Bill Knight

Quick Bio
Most who read this know Bill Knight, either personally or because he is arguably the greatest athlete Our Town ever produced.
This is a quick bio of how I remember him, probably close to how many of you do too.
"Lettering" in every sport at school, Bill was best at speed; lightning speed.
In his later teens, (correct me if I'm wrong Bill), he annually set Canadian records in his age groups for both the 100 and 220 yards, (or was it 100 & 200 metres by then?).
He was a star on our football fields. Tight end I believe.
He helped lesser athletes acquire skills, no matter what the field of play. He was a natural and very gifted athlete.
Going on to NCAA track scholarships, and lowering his times still more, my last memory of Bill for decades was seeing him on TV leading a race at the 50 metre mark in which the 100 World Record was broken in Vancouver. I knew it was Bill, he had a stride unique in all the world.
Bill had school smarts too. He seemed to get through every year with minimum effort.
He taught me that if you got thrown out of Doc Mile's class before noon, you could go to his office, (that wierd little alcove at the front of the second floor where we timidly lined up for Oral French exams), eat half of Doc's brown bagged lunch, and never get caught. Did I say Bill was perfect? Hey, we were both growing and needed the extra calories! Most days in Grade 11 Bill had the smarts to get kicked out before me and got to the eats first. Speed!
He mesmerized me by his winter indoor start practising and I loved to help, as he helped me with basketball. I'd do the "On your Mark ...." thing and on "Go" he'd launch off the blocks set against the Home Economics door, with the biggest bang, blasting like a rocket down the RGHS second floor corridor. Speed! Braking almost as soon as he had started, he'd disappear down the flight of stairs at the front of the school going five at a time. It's amazing he never broke his neck!
Bill always seemed to have a smile on his face. Now I know much of that was hiding inner turmoil, as you will see.
This was a gifted child who should have had the World by its tail. Instead, he was living with the abuse by a perverted priest, a priest who told his family Bill was needed to help with church work. (Is this sounding familiar to other abusees living alone with this guilt?)
Bill's Mom went into a spiral of depression, finally taking her life, after learning of the abuse Bill endured with Bockus, the priest she had entrusted her son with.
Yes. Bill and his siblings & Family have gone through these many decades living with the fact that dirty Bockus' inability to keep his sexual urges for children in check killed their Mom. Was this any different than if this pervert had pointed a gun to her head and shot her? No. Now all of GPK and beyond will know the truth, as it should.
It takes huge guts to come "out", but in doing so Bill hopes it will encourage others to seek counsel as now offered by the Anglican Church of Canada, if they still require closure.
The following is an essay he provided earlier in the year. Following that is an E-mail we received from his very kind and understanding wife Judy, and then a statement by Bill written to a non-believer, who claimed none of this ever happened at St. Paul's.

Correction to Bio ....
I was a running back and certainly not the best athlete in the Park. There were many better than me – and then there was Beryl—she was far better than all of us!
~ Bill

I read your recent post with great interest.
Distant memories came flooding back that I continually grapple with. The vivid memory of having been abused by a trusted and respected member of our GPK community angers me to this day.
Imagine being asked by your parish priest, as a 12 or 13 year old, to help with various chores at the church. The events that took place over the next year changed the course of my life as well as that of my family.
This priest, a parent himself, revered in our town, decimated the lives of many with his sexual abuse. One has to think back to the early 60’s to remember the morality of that era. Sex was rarely mentioned by parents and when it was it was spoken about quietly. How does a 13 year old get the courage to tell his parents why he doesn’t want to help this respected Priest, the one who has a street named for him?
Remember that time—it was an age of fun, of play, of innocence that was forever altered by this trusted parish priest. Since those days long ago I’ve come to reflect on the many twists and turns of my tumultuous life.
Why did I choose the paths that I did?
Why did I become aloof and distant in my relationships with the opposite sex?
Why was there no intimacy in these relationships –just physical sex—no emotional involvement?
When these abuses were brought to the attention of the church hierarchy the priest was quickly put on leave and his parishioners told he’d had a breakdown due to his workload. Quite a workload it was, performing sordid sex acts on young teens then going home to his wife and kids!! It is time that our small town really found out about some of its leading citizens.
Who enabled whom?
Why did the local school principal refer young people to this priest for counseling knowing the rumours that were making the rounds regarding his sexual misconduct?
I find it curious that both men had cottages on the same lake in the Eastern Townships and both were strong supporters of the GPK mayor at the time. I know how this affected my mother—the guilt she felt for encouraging me to help out at the church and wondering why I was always trying to avoid going — he eventual knowledge of what had gone on — and her thinking of the rumours that this person was a pedophile was something that haunted her until she died.
We live in a different time now—a time where something as repulsive as this would be exposed much more quickly but would it be dealt with any more effectively?
Probably not—the church still is in a denial mode, leaving the abused children and their families to deal with their own trauma.
This was an experience that no child should endure and those of you from my beloved little town who have suffered as well — you’re ……
Not alone.
Bill Knight
June 29, 2006

We received the following from Bill's wife yesterday, an account from someone who knows the pain and sense of guilt carried for decades by the abusees and their families. Judy vividly captures the Knight Family turmoil, turmoil that rocked their whole family forever.

November 6, 2006
I CANNOT believe that people write you saying "Mike, its been 50 years, let it go"!!!!!!!!!
That just infuriates me to NO end ... yes .. they are admitting their own guilt.
This must all come out ... the victims must not hide this any more.
You ARE the innocent people here.
You did NOTHING wrong !!!!
You did what you were told ..."Go help Bockus, (or who ever else was doing the abusing).
Yes indeed. Principals. Ministers ... people we are all brought up to respect ....... these children, as I repeat, were TOLD(by parents) to go help the minister (Bockus) Tues Pm or Thurs Pm or Sat AM ... at THE CHURCH ... but .. "Mom ...no ... I DO NOT WANT TO GO TONIGHT"...
"Oh, but you must ... you must help Rev. Bockus!!!. (Everyone thought this guy needed "CHURCH" help).. HE "needs" you ...
The "Child" goes .... darn well knowing what will happen ... again and again and again .... and the parent ... not knowing ANYTHING !!!!!!!
Until FINALLY one child finally musters up the courage to tell his family .. how embarrassing for these little ones ..... only to be questioned re the truth in this matter ..... to be told ... "what are you saying ..?" "what are you talking about ????, this cannot be true"
... and thinking ... our family cannot say anything to the authorities or OUR family will be run out of town!!!
Then, with a little more digging from the family ...the family does listen ... finally realizing what IS happening to their children in their own town .. and HOW GUILTY do the parents feel, that they sent their children time and time again to Bockus to be sexually abused!!!!
How horrible for everyone!!!
THEN the shit hits the fan .... and he is quietly taken to another Province!!!
Crap .. these adults .... Ministers ... as we call them ... getting away with playing with all these childrens privates!!!!!!!!!!!!
reading them dirty books....
And people want to shove this under the rugs and forget about it.


Yesterday, Bill also wrote this account of what happened to him at St. Paul's, sent to one who denied it could ever have happened. Good on you Bill for being so forthright about such a horrible and personal experience.
For taking this initiative to "out", I hope the outpouring from friends of 50 years ago will overwelm you and lift you positively like you never dreamed possible.
May the news of why and how you lost your Mom forever shut up the naysayers!
To think yours is only one of dozens of horrendous accounts about the destruction caused by that lowlife, pervert, child-molesting Bockus ...... may he be rotting in hell!

November 6, 2006
Reverend Bockus sexually abused me on at least 15 occasions when I was between 12-14 years of age.
This happened at St.Pauls — late at night while I was there helping him to run off copies of the Sunday church bulletin.
It happened in the kitchen at the church, in his office on the floor and in the anteroom next to his office.
My mother insisted that I help Father Bockus with church work on these Saturday evenings even against my wishes not to go.
If you remember the climate at the time, no one would dare tell their parents of anything as horrific as being abused by a respected member of the community, someone as well thought of as Rev.Bockus. So I didn’t have the nerve to tell my parents, but eventually I did tell my older sister and brother-in-law and she told my mother.
My mother was destroyed.
She brought the subject up one morning before I left for school. She asked me if Father Bockus was ‘queer’. I said yes.
She wanted to know if I could support what I had just said and I told her to call another boy that I knew well and as well had been abused by Rev. Bockus.
She called this boy's mother and had her ask him the same question — is Father Bockus homosexual? He immediately said that he was. His mother was livid as well.
Both of our fathers were called and they then contacted the Wardens of St.Pauls. After meeting with the Wardens and Bockus at a joint meeting, Father Bockus broke down and admitted his guilt.
Bishop McGuire of Montreal was involved in this meeting and Rev.Bockus was relieved of his duties.
The wish of the parents was that he not have access to children and be assigned to a clerical position — but that was not done.
Do you know the guilt involved in hiding this for so long then the anguish of giving up?
Bockus, who was quite well respected, apparently suffered a breakdown when he was made to tell his wife what he had done — knowing that she had a strong dislike of homosexuals.
My father asked me why I didn’t come to him with this? Didn’t I know that this kind of behavior wasn’t normal in society? My father was a very strong person and not one that I could ever go to with such an accusation.
My mother ultimately was the one who had to bear the brunt of this and she eventually succumbed to the guilt of her always being so adamant that I go to help on those Saturday nights at the church. My mother could not live with this feeling of guilt and committed suicide a while later.
Please don’t tell me that this didn’t happen. My family paid a steep price because one trusted individual abused his position.This loss of my mother is something that has been extremely difficult and will not go away.
My life was changed by this person and I can’t tolerate someone disavowing that it ever happened—it did happen and it happened to several.
Good luck to them living through the aftermath of such an experience.
Bill Knight

If you would like to write Bill and commend him on his courage to "out", hoping to bring courage to other victims, write us for his E-mail address.
(Due to the kooks out there, we wish to screen those writing him.)