Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Boreham on the Paralysis of Silence

In an article published by the Hobart Mercury on 19 February 1924 F W Boreham wrote about the plight of deafness. In ‘The Paralysis of Silence’ he speaks not only about living in a silent world but of the stigma that adds to the suffering.

He tells the story of Mr. E Abraham who conceived the idea that something might be done in Australia to render self-supporting and independent, those who were severely deaf and dumb.

In 1909 the Adult Deaf & Dumb Society (now the Adult Deaf Society of Victoria), purchased a 75 acre property which included the Lake, now called the Blackburn Lake.

[This was the bushland area, where in the 1890s, the artist Frederick McCubbin set up his easel and painted some of his best known works, e.g. "Down on his Luck" and "The Bush Burial"]

They cleared the land and cultivated a flower farm. The property became known as "Lake Park", and was a place for the "aged, infirm and feeble minded deaf mutes" to live and work, by growing flowers & vegetables, that were sold at the Victoria Market.

F W Boreham writes about the development of this dream as an ‘object lesson to the world.’ He says: “Australia has to her credit some very notable triumphs…. No country has done more to abolish the disability and the suffering due to being deaf and dumb.”

Sources: F W Boreham, ‘The Paralysis of Silence’, Hobart Mercury, 19 February, 1924.

‘Blackburn Lake Sanctuary’

Image: Black and white postcard of Blackburn Lake entitled 'Lake, Deaf Mutes' Farm, Blackburn.'