1 February 2018

PETER CIANCHI

We have to say farewell to one of our great supporters and advocates, Peter Cianchi who died on Wednesday night, 31 January 2018. Peter will be remembered in many different ways by many people with a hearing loss. He was a professional colleague serving on the Planning Committee and later the Committee of Better Hearing Australia (BHA) Canberra. Sue Daw remembers the night that Peter arrived for his first Hearing Loss Management Class at the Hellenic Club in 1997. He explained that he had attended ‘Lipreading Classes’ in England and wanted to be part of the classes run by BHA Canberra. Well, BHA Canberra and other class members were the richer for Peter joining the class.

Peter had a technical background and his expertise was in the assistive listening devices that could assist people with a hearing loss (Peter called them his toys). Sue recalls two incidents that show how Peter could solve critical situations in a calm and gentle manner without embarrassment. On one occasion ‘May’ came rushing into the class crying. She was upset because a message had been sent to her mobile saying that the bus her daughter was arriving on would be an hour early from a school trip. As the message was unheard, her daughter had waited in the dark in rain for the pickup. Peter was able to quietly explain that she could buy a neckloop which would allow these things to be heard.

Another member ‘Grace’ who was in the workforce lost her hearing quite quickly. The pressure of work meant she was not always able to attend class. She arrived in the middle of class obviously very upset. She had a new Cochlear implant and she was struggling to understand speech. Once again Peter was able to offer sensible and sound advice. When she returned the following week, she had been remapped and things sounded better. In 6 months’ time she was much happier and smiling.

Peter has been recognised twice for his assistance to the hearing impaired. First by BHA Canberra in 2012 when he was presented with a plaque for his outstanding contribution to the hearing impaired in our district and then later when he was awarded the Illingworth Award for being judged the most outstanding BHA volunteer in Australia in 2015.

All in BHA Canberra extend our deepest sympathy to Zelda, and Peter’s family.