Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks was a teenage pioneer in radio transmission, a noted researcher and expert in nutrition (knighted for his work), and a tour de force in nutrition and catering for the Australian force during the Second World War. He was born in 1892 in the Mosgiel nursing home of his grandmother, Adelaide Hicks, and lived with his parents in Ravensbourne, a suburb of Dunedin. His father was a photographer and journalist for the Otago Witness. The young Stanton Hick’s junior education was at a Ravensbourne school, from where he earned a scholarship for secondary schooling at Otago Boys High School (government funded secondary education didn’t come in until 1913).
In his mid-teens, at a time when shore-to-shore wireless had yet to come to New Zealand, he and two friends developed an interest in wireless transmission. They read up about it at the Atheneum, gleaned the necessary materials from around Dunedin, and each built a transmitter and receiver. One was at Ravensbourne, one at Andersons Bay, and one at Caversham. News leaked out, and in 1908 they were asked to demonstrate to the mayors of Dunedin and Ravensbourne, the shipping companies, the harbourmaster and others. The demonstration was a great success, and they transmitted a message for parliament. This was relayed on by telegraph and they received congratulations from the prime minister. A 4,560 word article in the press reported the achievement.