The Manawatu Deaf community thanks Terry O’Brien for his service as a Teacher of the Deaf. Terry taught for over 30 years at Freyberg High School in Palmerston North which had a Deaf Unit that St Dominic’s pupils often went on to attend. Below is an extract from Ephpheta, a newsletter for the New Zealand Catholic Deaf Community (Volume 22/2 Winter 2000), written by Maree Carroll:
“Terry began his Deaf education career in 1972 and has worked through a number of changes in Deaf education. He was a Senior Teacher of the Deaf at Ross Intermediate from 1973 to 1977. Then he went down to Westport for a year. In 1984, he became Head of the Department for Special Education, including Deaf education at Freyberg High School. From 1997 to 2000, Terry has focused solely on the position of Teacher-in-Charge at Freyberg. Terry was an oralist educator until 1993 when he became aware of Deaf culture, identity and language. He has since improved a lot in his signing skills. Terry helped the Support Advisory Committee for the Catholic Deaf Centre from 1994 to 1996, and continues to take a keen interest in our activities.”
The farewell event involved socializing and a number of speeches and was held at the Manawatu Deaf Society in Palmerston North.