From ‘Talking Hands, Listening Eyes’ – Bruce McHattie left most of his estate to the New Zealand Association for the Deaf, and the Executive and Council agreed to use the legacy to buy a house for the national office. Since 1985 Ken Jillings, the first paid Services Co-ordinator, in charge of the NZAD Field Office operation, had been managing the operation, administration and finances of the NZAD from his ‘office’, a very small room in a little old house round the side of the Auckland Deaf Society hall.
Hilary McCormack found a suitable house in Glen Eden, and McHattie House was opened by Sir Paul Reeves, the Governor-General and Patron of the NZAD, on 9 May 1990. The ceremony was almost a memorial service for Bruce McHattie, with many tributes to the man and his work.
Ken Jillings moved into the big office, and the other office was used for the national Services Co-ordinator. And, for the first time, there was ‘office staff’ – Maureen Seth as Receptionist and Information Officer.