William Brooks was born in Tiverton, Devonshire, England in 1858. He married Martha Jessie Taylor in 1884. She had supported the Deaf Society since its formation in 1913 and was also a prominent member of its Women’s Auxiliary. They had five daughters - Jessie, Mary, Gladys, Marjorie and Barbara.
As a young man, William established his own printing business in Sydney under the name of William Brooks & Co., publishing educational books. It is likely that William’s interest in the Deaf Community was through his wife. His company printed Samuel Watson’s Reports of visits to various institutions for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in Great Britain and America in 1903. William became involved in the Deaf Society in 1922, quickly becoming its Vice-President and, in 1925, its President. The Deaf Society had its headquarters from 1924 to 1927 at 17 Castlereagh Street, also the premises of William Brooks & Co Ltd.
William was a member of the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament (1917-1934), represented Bourke Ward on Sydney Municipal Council (1919-1927), and was the President of the Employers’ Federation of NSW (1914-1924).
Image Id 318 Cat. No. 093 page 4 Annual Report 1935-36
The Silent Messenger Dec 1937
The Silent Messenger May 1960
SMH 18 Aug 1931 Trove
SMH 16 Oct 1937 Trove
Australian Dictionary of Biography - photo