Michael and Mary Jane Carmody

History Corner
By Brian Johnston

Michael and Mary Jane Carmody

mary and michael carmody

Both Michael Carmody and his wife, Mary were the foundation members of the Catholic Deaf Association (CDA) which was formed in 1914. Mary Carmody was the CDA secretary for many years in the late 1910s and the early 1920s while Michael Carmody was on the committee. They always made their long-term home ‘Fleurange’ in Reginald Street, Abbotsford available for the Catholic Deaf gatherings and fundraising functions for many years till the 1950s.

Michael Patrick Carmody was born at Berry, NSW in 1878, one of eight children of John Carmody and Mary MacDonald. He was the 12th boy enrolled at the Dominican Sisters’ Deaf School in Waratah, Newcastle in 1889 until 1893.

Michael’s wife, Mary Jane Ryan was born at Toowoomba, Queensland in 1871, one of thirteen children of Patrick Ryan and Johanna Frawley. Mary Jane Ryan was the 11th girl enrolled at Waratah Deaf School in May 1884 with his younger sister, Catherine (who died at Waratah in 1904 aged 28). It is said that they also had two deaf brothers.

In 1901 Michael and Mary Jane were married at St Vincent’s Church, Redfern and they first met when at school. They had no children. In 1951 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party given by the CDA where they received a Papal Blessing. Michael worked as a tailor for Mr F Shane for over 30 years.

Michael Patrick Carmody died at Abbotsford on 25 August 1957 aged 79. Mary Jane Carmody died on 9 March 1963 aged 91. Both were buried in Catholic cemetery at Rookwood. They were very much loved and respected in the Catholic Deaf community.

Sources: Waratah enrolment registers, various Catholic newspapers and Ancestry.com website

Author: ephpheta

Community Liaison Officer for Ephpheta Centre www.ephpheta.org.au

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