John Hunt, well-known for his involvement in the Deaf community – talks about establishing the NZ Deaf News, his journey towards becoming a life member of NZ Deaf Sports Association, having had a role in its founding; working as the first Deaf Field Officer for NZAD, and compiling ‘The Story of the Auckland Deaf Society Inc 1937-1987. John generously talks about his life, experiences and community involvement.
Born in England and married at 21 years old to Laura Hunt. At the time of the interview, they had been married for 45 years. When they moved to New Zealand in 1962, having had their application to move to Canada, Los Angeles and Australia declined, John was surprised to find out that there was no NZ Deaf News at a time where radio and TV (which was inaccessible for Deaf people) were one of the main medium of news. John established the NZ Deaf News publication with a group of 10 people. The first publication was only 8 pages, and with donations, the next publication was 16 pages. And it continued to grow.
There was also no Association for Deaf Sports when John moved to New Zealand. At a meeting in Wellington in 1963, they agreed to set up rules/by-laws and at its AGM, John was selected Secretary (in 1983) which he dedicated 10 years to. He was also Vice President of the association, before being made a life member.
John was also keen to know about the history of Auckland Deaf Society, and upon the approval of the Board of Management, he compiled a book two years before the 50th Anniversary of ADS. It took him three years to finish the book, and it was released one year after the anniversary.
John also talks about his experiences working as the first Deaf Field Officer for NZAD for two and half years, including the infamous ‘Deaf nod’! He retired afterwards, and moved to Australia with his wife to join his two children on December 14, 1992.