For Giles Walker, the process of writing Wake Me in the Morning—a book about attending Bishops College School (BCS) in Lennoxville, Que. in the 1950s—required him to hold very tightly to one biblical principle: The truth will set you free.
Researching and writing the book, which describes the abuse he and other students suffered at the hands of an Anglican priest, “has been an extraordinarily cathartic process,” Walker told the Journal. “I’ve received hundreds of letters from people thanking me for moving forward and telling the story.”
A filmmaker who was staff director at the National Film Board of Canada for 20 years and received an Oscar nomination for a short drama, Walker spent three decades researching his book. Although health problems have interrupted his plans to turn the book into a film, he is producing a new edition of the book with an epilogue that includes letters from many other former students.
Walker returned to BCS late last year to tell the story to the staff and students of the modern institution, which now educates both boys and girls. Although a 2006 multi-million dollar class action suit against the school, which had Anglican roots, made headlines, Walker’s visit gave the students a personal, emotional account of this part of their school’s history. Breaking the silence is essential, Walker told the students.
His book offers an inspiring account of two BCS students who found the courage to speak out about what was happening. One of the students, whose father was on the school’s board of governors, was 14 years old. “There is no turning your back on your past,” Walker told present-day students. “You have to face it truthfully and acknowledge that it happened.”
Wake Me in the Morning
Kindle e-book $9.99