I understand he left the order in the early 1990s after his superiors upheld complaints from school parents relating to allegations of him pushing the boundaries on professional standards matters. Rightly or wrongly, that would have dogged him for the rest of his life.
I remember the young, not yet ordained Jesuit pushing boundaries in the boarding house one evening. This was when he gave us a spontaneous hour-long briefing about human sexual relationships.
We’d just watched a television program that included a reference which he thought required explanation. I think it might have related to syphilis.
In any case, he gave us exactly the sexual education that many today would argue we should have received from our parents and the school curriculum. At the time, if we asked our elders about syphilis, we’d usually be told that we ‘don't need to know about these things’.
In hindsight, I suspect there was an element of prurience in the young Jesuit's delivery of the information, and it's arguable that he robbed us of our innocence to some degree.
But I’d prefer to think that it was our ignorance that he took away, and that any child exploitation that might have occurred was outweighed by the benefit.
Looking back, he was prescient in that serious teaching about human sexual relationships in schools was to be one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission on Human Relationships that was initiated by the Whitlam Government in that same year, 1973.
The final report (1977) called for programs ‘giving sex information and an integrated program covering related social and psychological matters’. The object was 'a community more open and tolerant in outlook, and better able to form meaningful relationships’.