Our History

Auckland Deaf Society has given the Deaf community a cultural and social centre for over 75 years

Our society was founded by Murray Williams in 1937. Based on the earlier Christchurch Deaf Club, he envisaged Auckland Deaf Society as a place for Auckland’s Deaf Community to meet and share their experiences.

After first meeting in an old shop in Parnell Road, growing numbers saw us move to the Auckland Motorcycle club in 1938. More moves followed as membership continued to grow and rented premises fell through.

Finally, in 1953, Friends of the Deaf was formed to raise funds for new clubrooms. After extensive fundraising involving both Deaf and hearing people, the Balmoral Road premises were purchased in 1954. The ADS moved to the new site in 1958, and the current clubrooms are still there today.

After redevelopment of the site, new clubrooms were built and officially opened in 2007. The original Auckland Deaf Society premises have been leased to a tenant and are still used as sports facilities.

In 2011, members of the Auckland Deaf Society voted to establish a trust to look after its properties and investments, and the Auckland Deaf Society Foundation Trust was formed in 2012.

After 75 years, the Auckland Deaf Society continues to grow and develop its role as a hub for Auckland’s Deaf community.

Historical footage of Auckland Deaf Society events

A very happy day in lovely weather was enjoyed by members of the Auckland Deaf Society and friends who attended the annual picnic at Orewa Beach on 16 March 1969. Watch the video at SignDNA…

The 1990 Miss Deaf New Zealand competition was held at Auckland Deaf Society.

Competition was limited to women 16-25 years old only. Watch the video at SignDNA…

A ceremony was held to lay the foundation stone, laid by D.M. Rae ESQ MP for Eden, for the Auckland Deaf Welfare Centre on 19 April 1958. Watch the video at SignDNA…