TOUGH TIMES: A nun at Neerkol Orphanage with children in the care of the Sisters of Mercy.
TOUGH TIMES: A nun at Neerkol Orphanage with children in the care of the Sisters of Mercy. Contributed Rokneerkol

Neerkol nuns constantly told me my parents were dead

ALLAN Allaway says he was ripped from his mother's arms when he was a tot.

He was just an innocent six-month-old.

Allan claimed authorities from the State Government's Children's Department (at the time) stole him off his mother and delivered him to the Neerkol Orphanage nursery.

He claimed the "bureaucrats" often made immoral judgments that women who were single couldn't look after their children.

When he was about five years old, Allan would always ask for his mother.

The nuns at the orphanage would often beat him because of this and say to him "Your parents are dead", he claimed.

When he turned 14 years old, Allan claimed he worked as a "slave" on farms around Yeppoon.

At the age of 17, he saw an advertisement in the newspaper calling new recruits for the Australian Air Force.

He decided to fill out an application form. He realised he needed the signature of a parent or guardian, so he sent away his form believing a State Children's Department representative could authorise the application.

Nothing further developed from that, Allan said.

Twelve weeks after he sent the application form away, Allan received a written letter from his mother.

When he reconnected with his mother, Allan claimed the State Children's Department threatened to put his mother in jail if she didn't start paying child support for her son.

She died about three months after their reunion.

"I went off the rails after that, I hated everybody."

Nine years later, he married his wife. They have a son and two granddaughters. Allan said he was now a successful inventor and businessman trying to concentrate on launching a product that cleaned and maintained artificial turf on sporting surfaces.

"I was a real fighter and I still am," he said.