By Brian Johnston
Arthur Joseph Power was active in the formation of Catholic Deaf Association (celebrating their 100 th year this year). He was born in Parkes NSW on 1 November 1893, son of John and Mary Power.
However, his school admittance register shows that he was born in 1895, coming from Wyalong NSW. From 1905 to 1908 Arthur attended Waratah Catholic Deaf School in Newcastle NSW. After leaving Waratah, he was transferred to the Vocational Training Section of Westmead Boys’ Home in Sydney and became a skilled tradesman.
In 1919 he married a Waratah schoolmate, Josephine Kathleen Wall at Annandale, Sydney and the devoted couple became the parents of five sons and three daughters, namely, John, Patrick, Mary, Arthur, Barbara, Herbert, Paul and Yvonne. The family lived in Nelson Road, Earlwood.
Arthur, even in his early years, showed a marked aptitude for leadership and when the Catholic Deaf Association was formed in Sydney, he became their first President, the position he held for many years. In this capacity, he was also a Secretary of Catholic Deaf Association for some years. He was able to assist his companions in spiritual and temporal matters and was ever ready to help and encourage those in trouble until his untimely death in 1940 at the age of 46 years.
Arthur was also a valued member of the Council of the NSW Association of Deaf and Dumb Citizens from 1929 to 1937 (a breakaway organisation separate from the Adult Deaf and Dumb Society of NSW) and a member of the newly formed Council of the Adult Deaf and Dumb Society in 1937 and 1938.Arthur Power died in Canterbury on 1 August 1940 and is buried in Rookwood Catholic cemetery with his wife, Josephine who died on 21 November 1977 at the age of 82 years. Both Arthur and Josephine were active in the formation of the Catholic Deaf Association and did a lot of work over many years for the benefit of Catholic Deaf Community members.
Sources: ‘History of Catholic Deaf Education in Australia 1875-1975’ and their ‘Pictorial Centenary Souvenir’, 1975 by Sister M Madeleine and The Silent Messenger issues.