Wellington Deaf Society has moved a couple of times since its formation, from gatherings at people's places, leased halls and buildings, meet-ups at different pubs, to a co-owned building. Learn more about our journey!

ResizedImage457280 101 1948 anniversary party

1938 at 80 Manners Street

The WDS was formed on 30 July 1938 at Mr and Mrs D. Ashley’s residence, with the first monthly meeting held 31 August 1938 at Mr. L. Carrell’s residence. WDS also used Miss Hazel Martin’s Dancing School and Miss Lillian O’Leary’s Dancing School, both at 80 Manners Street Wellington. It was where the 10th anniversary celebrations were held. After the 1942 earthquake, WDS temporarily transferred to a building in Lower Cuba Street, until 80 Manners Street was repaired.

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1964-1967 at Victoria Street

WDS terminated the lease with Miss Hazel Martin’s Studios and moved to a small hall in Victoria Street, Lower Hutt.

In 1967, The Wellington Lions helped WDS to have the use of St. Peter’s Hall, Willis Street, on the second Wednesday of every month, for social evenings.

old Loaves and Fishes Hall

1972 at Hill Street

New club rooms were opened in Hill Street, in the Loaves and Fishes Hall with meetings every second and fourth Saturday evening of each month.

willis street

1980-1990 at 280 Willis Street

In 1980, 280 Willis Street - WDS had an agreement with the Ministry of Health to rent 280 Willis Street until a final decision was made on the new Wellington motorway. WDS rented this place for 10 cents per year.

In 1990, 280 Willis Street was sold to Transit New Zealand who wanted $1000 per month rent. WDS moved out and Sir Roy McKenzie, patron of WDS at that time, let WDS use free of charge, an office and meeting room at the Hutt Park Raceway in Lower Hutt. Fundraising was carried out to raise funds towards the building fund.

175 WDS 16 marion st renovations

1996 at Marion Street

WDS purchased 32 Marion Street, along with the then Deaf Association of New Zealand (now Deaf Aotearoa). WDS had use of the ground floor, and did intensive renovations, and Shaun Fahey painted the western themed mural, which featured a few WDS members.

marion street

2015 sold 32 Marion Street

The sad decision was made to sell 32 Marion Street. It was no longer viable to have such a huge building, which led to escalating costs that WDS had to meet, such as insurance and rates. Following the sale of the building, WDS continues to meet fortnightly at various locations around Wellington as well as holding special events.

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2021 at Waiora Hub, 17 Bannister Ave, Johnsonville

The new building, Waiora, was opened on the 24th April 2021. A welcome home party was held to celebrate the opening of our second home. This building is shared with four other clubs and WDS.