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  • Writer's pictureGDA

GDA's 100th anniversary - from 1945 to 1970

Welcome to the second part of our look back at GDA's 100yr history.

We begin this part of the charity's story with the introduction of Mr Albert Ross as the Association's new Superintendent Missioner in 1948. Mr Ross went on to stay with the Association until 1984 - by far, the charity's longest serving leader. You can find out more about Mr Ross on a previous post, by clicking here.

In 1948 there was a significant change to the Association when the people the Association served declared they no longer liked the word 'dumb' in the organisations name. The Citizen reported on Friday 22nd October that '"Dumb" is disliked: dropped from title'. The decision to revise the name was agreed at a special meeting of donors and subscribers, held in the Wheatstone Hall. Furthermore the Association was known as 'The Gloucester Diocesan Association for the Deaf'.

This move was very forward-thinking and perhaps something you may have considered taking place at a later date. It was certainly a bold move by the people the Association were serving in 1948.

Heading in to the 1950s and the Gloucestershire Echo reported on the 10th June 1950 that a new amenity for the Deaf had been opened in Cheltenham. The amenity was opened by the Archdeacon of Gloucester, Canon W. T. Wardle and was one of the county-wide branches of the Association under the leadership of Mr Ross. At that time the Association was serving 400 Deaf people in Gloucestershire.

By the 1960s a Deaf football team was in place - the team comprised of all Deaf players, bar Mr Ross, himself hearing. Mr Ross would organise 'friendlies' between the Gloucestershire team and opponents from Bristol and Bath to name but two. At the time, two players on the team, Michael Heath and John Gapp both played in England Deaf football team.

During the early 60s the Association has acquired the Butlin Home for the Deaf. The Home was officially opened in the summer of 1963 by Wm. E. Butlin, Esq., M.B.E in the presence of her Grace the Duchess of Beaufort, the Bishop of the Diocese (who blessed the house), the Mayor of Gloucester, the Chairman and many friends of the Association. The idea of the Home stemmed from the 1953 and it was in 1962 that the idea came to life.

It was in 1969 that the Association celebrated it's 50th anniversary. A service of thanksgiving was held at Gloucester Cathedral on 11th May and was attended by over 1,000 Deaf people from across the country, something which strongly suggests that even then, how well thought of the Association was not only in Gloucestershire but also further afield.

Take a look at some of the paper features:

Download PDF • 1.43MB

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Join us tomorrow for part three in our look at GDA's history when we'll be delving in to the period between 1971 and 1996.


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