Volume 57 1948 > Volume 57, No. 1 > Biographical notice, by W. J. Durrad, p 1
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The writer of the following and other papers on Oceanic languages—Charles Elliot Fox—came to New Zealand from England with his father and mother in 1883 when he was five years old. His father was a priest of the Church of England and was for a time Warden of St. John's College, Auckland. Fox was a delicate child and was not sent to school till he was thirteen years old. He then went to the Napier Boys' High School where he distinguished himself as a scholar and an athlete. He became Dux of the school and—what probably gave him greater satisfaction—became football captain and also wicket keeper for the School XI. He went on to St. John's College at the age of seventeen and took a degree and several scholarships, including Senior Scholar in Natural Science and a First Class Honours degree in arts. He played for the university XV. At that time he met Dr. J. R. Mott, the famous American evangelist and founder of the Student Christian Volunteer Movement (known today as the S.C.M.) and became an ardent enthusiast for Missions. He offered for work in the Melanesian Mission but the doctor decided he was too delicate for the tropics and so he turned to the teaching profession and acted for a time as master at his old school at Napier. He also looked after the Napier Museum. Then he met Bishop Wilson of Melanesia who told him he could do with some “old crocks” at Norfolk Island which was then the headquarters of the Melanesian Mission. After a short time he went for a visit to Mota in the Banks group and began his life-long and intensive study of Oceanic languages, of which the following paper is one of the fruits. After his ordination as priest, he spent some time as a Curate under Archdeacon Calder at All Saints Church in Auckland and then returned to Norfolk Island and the Melanesian Mission. Life in the tropics having proved beneficial, he went to join the Reverend Harry Drew on San Cristoval in the Solomon Islands in 1910, and except for occasional furloughs has worked on various islands of that group until the present time. While at Norfolk Island he wrote a small but important book entitled An Introduction to the Study of Oceanic Languages. The fruits of his anthropological studies on San Cristoval are embodied in his book The Threshold of the Pacific for which he was given his Doctorate by the N.Z. University.