Leon Fox

Vale Leon Fox
Heard 53, Mawson 55
Macca 58 and 66, Davis 60
Wilkes 62 and 64

I was contacted by Astrid Simms, the sister of Leon Jennings Fox last night. She told me that Leon had died on Tuesday 22nd February 2011. A service is planned for 2pm Tuesday 1st March, in the garden at St Michaels Aged Care (where Leon had been resident for the last few years) at 1 Ormana st, Murumbeena, Victoria.

I suspect a lot of you knew Leon, or the “Antarctic fox.” He’d certainly been down South as a”met man” a lot with 7 winters under his belt. When I asked for memories of Leon, the comments were universal and along the lines of “…a wonderful man, a wonderful expeditioner..he had a real twinkle in his eye…mischievous…indefatigable, nothing seemed to faze him… he was the only person personally recommended by Sir Douglas Mawson…”

I recently visited Leon at St Michaels. Verbal communication was tricky as Leon had severe motor neuron disease and had great difficulty expressing himself through speech. But he certainly understood my part of the conversation well enough. He smiled and made comments when I mentioned the ANARE Club, the names of Fred Elliott and Jack Ward with whom he had wintered on several occasions and had sent their best wishes, and bought him up to date with the latest news from the Antarctic and subantarctic stations.

But Leon positively sparkled and became very animated when I mentioned that I had heard he had been a dog man. Leon sent me off to his room to search out his prized photo album filled with pictures of fellow expeditioners, seals, stations and his beloved dogs, and we spent a good hour pouring through it.

I couldn’t understand a large part of his conversation about the photographs, but I was in no doubt that his time down south was important to him. Vale Leon…

An obituary by Mark Forecast can be accessed here.