Gladwyn Murray Childs

Biographical Note*
Born in 1896, Gladwyn received bachelor's degree from Pomona College, a B.D. and M.A. from Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University. His dissertation was published as "Umbundu Kinship and Character" by Oxford University Press and the University of Witwatersrand. Together with his wife, Margaret, he worked as a missionary from 1925 to the early 1960's for the United Church Board for World Ministries and American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Angola and Portugese West Africa. He was principal of a mission school, the Currie Institute. After retiring he worked for the World Council of Churches in Lisbon, but sought to return to Angola to work on a prehistoric project. Childs worked with his uncle, Merlin Ennis, a researcher of folk tales, on Umbundu folktales.

Portuguese to follow.

Recollections of Drs Gladwyn and Margaret Childs

By Emília Etaungo Sicato, June 19, 2021. Translated by Frank Collins

The Childs’ story greatly aroused my interest because in 1961 Dr. Gladwyn Childs was the driving force behind construction of the Residência Acadêmica for students studying in Nova Lisboa on scholarships from our church. 

Dr Childs, while director of the Curie Institute in Dondi, awarded scholarships whenever such a student passed the fifth year secondary school examination with excellent marks. In 1955 my father, Reverend Henrique Etaungo Daniel, received this scholarship to study abroad. 

Dr. Margaret Childs was trained in biology. She studied various medicinal plants of Angola and wrote a paper on the subject. 

Dr Gladwyn Childs studied, described and wrote a book about the culture, organisation and social structures by which traditional Umbundu kings ruled from 1650 to 1940.

In the 1980s, Dr. Margaret spent all her holidays with us at the Liga Missionária in Lisbon and interacted very well with the Angolan students.

Emília Etaungo Sicato

Memórias dos Drs Gladwyn e Margaret Childs

Por Emília Etaungo Sicato, 19 de junho de 2021

A história dos Childs despertou em mim grande interesse porque, o Dr Gladwyn Childs impulsionou a construção da Residência Acadêmica para estudantes bolseiros da nossa igreja em Nova Lisboa, em 1961. 

O Dr Gladyn Childs enquanto Director do Instituto Curie do Dondi, dava bolsa de estudo sempre que o aluno fizesse exame do quinto ano do liceu com excelentes notas. Em 1955, meu pai, o Reverendo Henrique Etaungo Daniel, recebeu esta bolsa para estudar no estrangeiro. 

Dra Margaret Childs formada em biologia estudou as plantas medicinais de Angola e escreveu uma sebenta. 

Dr (Gladwyn) Childs estudou, descreveu e escreveu a organização da extruturas dos vários Reis tradicionais ovimbundu, desde 1650 até 1940.

Nos anos 80 a Dra Margaret passava todas as férias connosco, na Liga Missionária  em Lisboa e interagia muito bem com os estudantes angolanos.

*From University of Washington Libraries, see here.