Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday paid tribute to the late British physicians David Landsborough (蘭大衛) and David Landsborough IV (蘭大弼), in Changhua, saying that the doctors, who spent decades in Taiwan saving people’s lives, were “true Taiwanese.”
“Those who recognized and made contributions to this land like the Landsboroughs did, could claim they are Taiwanese,” Lee said during his visit to the Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH), part of his three-day visit to Changhua and Yunlin counties that began yesterday.
David Landsborough (1870 to 1957) and his son, David Landsborough IV (1914 to 2010), spent a combined 68 years in medical service and missionary work in central Taiwan.
The senior Landsborough, who first arrived in Taiwan in 1896 as a Presbyterian Church missionary, founded the CCH in 1907 and did not retire until 1936. He was known for using skin from his wife, Majorie Learner, to treat a patient, which bolstered his reputation and earned him the respect of Changhua residents.
Born and raised in Taiwan, David Landsborough IV picked up where his father had left off and continued to deliver medical services to Taiwanese until he moved to London in 1980. The younger Landsborough, who learned to speak Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) before he learned English, often called himself a “son of Taiwan” and a “British Taiwanese.”
He said, in Taiwanese, before his death: “We should help the poor.”
Lee, a Christian, said it was those foreign missionaries who founded hospitals throughout Taiwan, such as the CCH in Changhua, the Sinlau Hospital in Tainan and Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, that brought Western medical science to the nation.
The former president, who has been on several trips throughout various parts of Taiwan this year, later visited local plumbing industry manufacturers in Sioushuei (秀水) Township, which, along with nearby Lugang (鹿港) Township, is known as the “home of the faucet” and is famous for its kitchen and bath products.
To develop their maximum industrial potential, local companies established the Plumbing Association of Taiwan in 2008 and integrated about 700 manufacturers located in the region into a cluster.
Lee praised the efforts and said the government should have paid more attention and given more resources to the development of local small and medium-sized enterprises.
If the government was not doing its job, Lee said, people could only count on themselves, while “innovation in business management and products is extremely important” for businesses today.