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Kalli The Esquimaux Christian by Andrew Murray

Kalli at St. John's, Newfoundland

The time having now arrived at which, according to the opinion of the Bishop of Newfoundland, and the Warden of St. Augustine's, the qualifications of Kallihirua might be turned to some account, as an aid to missionaries in their efforts among the Esquimaux of Labrador, he left England, in the autumn of the year 1855, for further training at St. John's, Newfoundland. This step was taken at the expense of the Admiralty, who agreed to allow him 25 pounds a year for three years.

The following notice of his character appeared in the 'Occasional Paper,' published in St. Augustine's College at the time of his removal to Newfoundland. At every step of his short but remarkable course, such willing testimony always awaited him.

|Kallihirua, whose name is known as widely as that of his College, has arrived at another crisis in his eventful history. Having resided more than three years in College, he has been transferred to the experienced care of the Bishop of Newfoundland, with the view to his probable usefulness among the Esquimaux of Labrador. If integrity of moral principle, gentleness of spirit, docility of manners, willingness to be useful, and true Christian politeness, are essential requisites in a Missionary, then is Kallihirua certain to fill his place well, if only the right place is found for him.|

Kalli arrived in St John's, Newfoundland, on the 2nd October, 1855, and, on the following day, wrote a letter to Captain Ommanney, telling him that he had suffered on the voyage from the motion of the vessel, which had caused severe headaches. He added, |St John's puts me in mind of my own country. I have already found a great number of kind friends, and feel so happy.|

He was immediately admitted into the College of the Theological Institution for further training, and it was the Bishop's intention to have taken him in the summer of 1856 in the Church-ship to the coast of Labrador, with the view particularly of comparing his language with that of the Esquimaux on the American continent, who are included under the government, and consequently in the diocese, of Newfoundland.

That he was not unfitted for this task, appears from a passage in the preface to the Greenland-Esquimaux Vocabulary. Captain Washington observes: |On comparing the Labrador with the Greenland dialect of the Esquimaux, it was found that nearly one-half the words given by Mr. Platon were similar to the former. On going over the vocabulary with Kallihirua, generally speaking he recognized the Greenland word. When he did not do so, the Labrador was mentioned, which, in most cases, he caught at directly. These words have been added. There would thus appear to be even a greater degree of similarity between the Labrador and Greenland dialects than might have been expected, and it is evident that the Greenland dialect, as Mr. Platon states, is spoken by all the Esquimaux to the head of Baffin's Bay.|

Kalli had some conversation with a Moravian Missionary from Labrador. The language was in most respects similar, though there was evidently a difficulty in understanding each other.

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