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Aaron Buzacott

British missionary

Died when: 64 years 200 days (774 months)
Star Sign: Pisces


Aaron Buzacott

Aaron Buzacott the elder (4 March 1800 – 20 September 1864) was a British missionary, Congregationalist colleague of John Williams (the 'Martyr of Erromanga'), author of ethnographic works and co-translator of the Bible into Cook Islands Māori.

Buzacott was a central figure in the South Seas missionary work of the London Missionary Society, and lived on Rarotonga (one of the Cook Islands) from 1828 to 1857.

During his time there, he assisted in the development of the written form of Cook Islands Māori, compiling a primer on English and Cook Islands Maori grammar.

Buzacott, along with Williams and other missionary colleagues, contributed to the first translation of the Bible into that language, and translated additional theological texts including lectures from his education in London.

Buzacott was stationed at Avarua, the largest town on Rarotonga, where he designed and led the construction of two buildings which still exist today: the Coral Church or Ziona Tapu (Holy Zion), now used by the Cook Islands Christian Church; and the main building of Takamoa Theological College, a educational institution he founded in 1839 and served as both principal and educator until he retired from his station.

He also assisted Williams in the construction of the mission schooner The Mission of Peace in 1828, to travel between the islands of the Pacific.

Buzacott made journeys to various Pacific islands, including Tahiti and those comprising Samoa, during his posting, and visited both New South Wales and England to visit his children studying there, and in the case of England to run the completed Bible translation through the printing press.

Following several bouts of ill health, Buzacott retired to Sydney in 1857, and engaged in further work as a travelling agent for the London Missionary Society in the Australian colonies.

He also became involved in both the Pitt Street and Bourke Street Congregational Churches, having become a resident of the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst.

A number of his contemporaries dubbed Buzacott "the model missionary" for his record of service on Rarotonga.

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Henry Williams
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