By Dan Walsh
The death has occurred of Gorey resident John Cameron, Oakhill, Ramstown, autobiographer of Boy 11963, a unique account of overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles to find out who he truly was!
At only five months old, John Cameron was abandoned in a Dublin orphanage, and fostered out as a child labourer by age three. In 1944 when he turned eight, he was incarcerated in Artane Industrial School, where he became boy 11963.
In his mid-eighties, John Cameron told his shocking but inspirational story for the first time. As a child, reduced to a number, he survived savage assaults, sexual abuse and the tragic deaths of children around him. Along with other forgotten boys, he battled for his life against the heartless adversity of the church and the Irish state.
As a young man – a much-loved schoolteacher devoted to his growing family – John was haunted by his unknown past and embarked on a lifelong quest to unravel the truth about his origins. Buried in a labyrinth of lies, he finally uncovered a story of forbidden love and passion that scandalised rural Ireland and made national headlines in the 1930s.
John, also known as Jaycee, made Gorey his home some years ago and was admired and respected wherever he went. Cllr Joe Sullivan knew John Cameron well and described him as “the nicest man you could meet” and he offers his sympathy and that of the people of Gorey to his sorrowing wife and family.
FAMILY NOTICE; JOHN CAMERON (also known as Jaycee), Oakhill, Ramstown, Gorey; Beloved Husband of Treasa and loving father of Fiona, Aileen, Shane, Niamh and Brian, brother of Betty, Ada, Marie and the late Una and Joan. Deeply regretted by his loving wife, sons, daughters, grandchildren Emma, Aoife, Patrick, Ómaí, Ellie-Rose, sons-in-law Tim, Jimmy and Tony, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends in Oakhill and beyond and members of the Parkinson Association Wexford Branch. May He Rest In Peace.
Removal from his home on Thursday, August 18th, at 10.30 am to St. Michael’s Church Gorey for Funeral Mass at 11 am followed by Burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery Gorey.