Osvald Dahlgren Celebrates his 90th Birthday

By Jerald Jordan

Osvald Dahlgren
2nd Secretary-General (1967-1973)

Osvald Dahlgren, the second secretary-general of CISS, was born in Stockholm, Sweden on 2 November 1911. both of his parents were also Deaf. He was the oldest of six children, one other of which was also deaf.

He was educated at the Manilla School for the Deaf in Stockholm and, upon graduation, obtained employment at the Albert Bonniers publishing company where he taught himself to be a typographer. he remained with the company until retirement in 1976.

He was married for 50 years to Alice, who passed away in 1989. There were no children.

He was active in athletics as a young man, preferring the short distances. As he grew older, he changed to orienteering and continued to compete in that sport until he was 71 years old. This skill in athletics carried over into competition in the World Games for the Deaf, winning silver medals in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays in London (1935) and a gold in the 4x400 relay in Stockholm (1939).

Not content with just competing in sports, he also serve administratively, functioning as president of the IK Hephata from 1934 to 1945 and again as secretary for two years, 1978-9. He was also president and then secretary of the Stockholm Deaf Society and edited the club newspaper for several years. He was elected to the Swedish Deaf Sports Federation in 1935 and served as president and secretary for 35 consecutive years. he also edited the anniversary publications for its 50 and 75 yubilee years. In addition to all these offices, he also served on the Board of the Swedish National Association of the Deaf from 1949 to 1952 and on the Council of the Church for the Deaf for about 10 years. He also was secretary of the Society of Pensioners in Stockholm from 1978 to 1992.

IN 1947, at the first CISS meeting after World War II, he was elected to the Executive Committee. When the legendary Antoine Dresse stepped down as secretary-general, after 43 years of service, Mr. Dahlgren was selected to succeed him. He also continued to act as secretary-general until turning the position over to Knud Sondergaard in 1973.

His honors include both the bronze and the gold CISS Medal of Honor, the Badget of Merit of the Swedish Confederation of Sports and the Plaquette in Gold of the Pro Patria Society.

by Jerald Jordan, Past President, CISS
CISS Bulletin, November 1998, page 17.