John Furlong, Help Us Out and Answer One Question

As the head of Vanoc ( Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee ) John Furlong became a household name in Canada. His was the name and face associated with arguably the most successful winter Olympics in history. He made us proud to be Canadian.

Shock and disbelief doesn’t even begin to describe the reaction met by a Sept. 27 story published in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper.The story by reporter Laura Robinson alleges  John Furlong abused students at a residential school in Burns Lake, B.C.  1969. To date 8 former residents have sworn affidavits claiming they were abused by Furlong during his 14 months as a volunteer gym teacher. .

Today John Furlong issued a lengthy denial and explanation of the facts. A majority of his statement centred on details regarding his return to Ireland after his cousin was killed by an IRA bomb. He did acknowledge his work in Burns Lake, saying he volunteered to make a positive influence, it was the reason he came to Canada from Ireland, and that he returned to Ireland when his volunteer commitment ended in 1972.

John Furlong will have his day in court. I can’t help pondering one little thing – something he offered no explanation for in today’s statement. In his 2011 book, Patriot Hearts,  he omitted any reference to first arriving in 1969. Why is that?

Call me crazy but if I packed up my family, crossed an ocean, and spent more than a year as a volunteer in a desolate region of a foreign country shaping lives and being a positive influence, I would mention it.

This is a link to today’s statement by John Furlong.–the-story-is-a-disgrace-john-furlong-strikes-back

A link to the story on Sept. 27 in the Georgia Straight.