In Palmerston North, a group of Deaf locals (and CODAs, and some members of the advanced Total Communication class) were recruited to perform a song in sign language at their local Telethon with singer Frankie Stevens. Joan Bailey was right there, all ready to record it! It was all arranged by Frances Mosen, mother of a deaf daughter, Theresa. Frankie sent her a tape of his song, “To make a big man cry”. At first, everybody thought it was too fast and too hard. But after a lot of practice, it was decided to go ahead. There was a practice with Frankie on Saturday afternoon and live on Sunday. Everyone was nervous but agreed that it was a lot of fun. Afterwards, Roger Gascouigon asked for a special round of applause as six out of the nine people taking part were profoundly deaf.
All original footage by Joan with a prelude to the Manawatu Deaf’s Telethon performance also showing a number of Manawatu Deaf people at their workplace: Lindsay Jones (welder), Suzanne Hanson (seamstress), Jackie Davidson (data entry clerk), Russell McNab (spraypainter) and David Sinclair (joiner).
At the Auckland Telethon, the popular Sign Singers led by Dulcie McKie were the opening act of 1981 Telethon, which was the International Year of the Disabled. The event raised over $5 million for charities.