Bernard Fox (1932-2018)
Bernard Fox, a “free-spirited warrior of St David’s” who honoured his Pequot tribe heritage with the name Chief Running Water, has died at the age of 86.
His sister, Ronnie Chameau, said her brother was “liked by all” in St David’s, where he repaired appliances and plumbing in return for a hot meal.
Ms Chameau said the family had known their Native American roots when she and her brother were children, but truly connected with their Pequot ancestry only in 1998.
The Connecticut-based indigenous Americans, now recognised as the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, were among people sent to Bermuda as slaves in the 17th century and their descendants remain prominent figures in St David’s.
Ms Chameau said: “People used to call us Mohawks, but it was never talked about. We connected with the Pequot in Connecticut in 1998, which is how Bernard got his name.
“He was very proud and told everyone he was Pequot.”
As a younger man, Mr Fox worked as a boatman at the Castle Harbour Hotel, taking tourists out on the water, and as an electrician on the US Naval Air Force Base.
Mr Fox was a familiar sight in the East End with his dog, Scrappy, which would perch on the handlebars of his bike as he travelled about doing odd jobs for residents.
Ms Chameau added: “He lived at several residences on St David’s that were derelict — he would fix them up, and when you visited you would have thought he had lived there for years.”
Mr Fox, a keen ham radio user, travelled to the United States to visit other hobbyists, but preferred to spend his time in St David’s.
His sister said Mr Fox “loved it there and just had to be in St David’s”.
He lived in government housing in the area’s Southside in his later years.
Mr Fox died last Tuesday. A Native American memorial service will be held in his honour at Red Hole in St David’s on Sunday at 7pm.
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