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Document: “Nimble fingers which are her fortune”

Article about Ella Doran – potentially prompted by her work during the court case in Deniliquin.
Nimble Fingers Which Are Her Fortune
This is a tender little story of romance and charity in the life of Miss Ella Doran, welfare secretary and interpreter for the Adult Deaf and Dumb Society of New South Wales.
Daughter of deaf and dumb parents, Miss Doran gave her voice, her fingers and her inherent understanding to the cause of the deaf and dumb, until, about two and a half years ago, she was appointed to her present position.
During the week, this alert young woman acted as interpreter in a case in which a deaf and dumb tailor was plaintiff.
The mere alphabet of hands and fingers is, of course, elementary in deaf and dumb language. There are thousands of signs, and the ability to interpret for the many types represented in the deaf and dumb community is something akin to an exact science.
Miss Doran is one of the very few in Australia who has a complete command of these multifarious symbols, allied to a natural ability to anticipate the wishes of those less “articulate” with the expressions of the hands.
She has not only translated the sermons of preachers in the beautiful little chapel at the society’s clubrooms, but on occasions has actually prepared her own sermons and delivered them from the pulpit.
To those who imagine the language of signs to be infallible, however, Miss Doran can supply a remarkable parallel to the familiar lapsus linguae.
While interpreting a church sermon, she noticed that a woman at the rear of the chapel was “talking,” and action which is forbidden, though, of course, silent. Miss Doran quite mechanically and almost unconsciously spelt the offender’s name during a pause in the sermon, and was mortified to see the whole deaf and dumb congregation turn round at the offender. Her action had been purely an unconscious portrayal of her own thoughts, leaping from her swift fingers before she was aware of it.

(1933, April 30). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved January 13, 2024, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page24600876
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