An exhibition that chronicles the contributions of 19th-century Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay has opened in Taipei, focusing on his role in Taiwan’s development
“Dr Mackay: An Extraordinary Canadian in Taiwan” was organized by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei and is being held at the office’s Mackay room through Jan.16.
It comprises photographs, books and videos that illustrate Mackay’s dedication and passion for the people of Taiwan.
The exhibition also displays seeds of several fruit and vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes and cauliflower, which Mackay introduced to Taiwan.
“We want to take this opportunity to remind people of Dr Mackay,” said Canadian Representative to Taiwan Kathleen Mackay, who is no relation to the missionary.
George Mackay arrived in Taiwan in March 1872 and spent 29 years preaching Christian values and working to develop education and medicine.
He married a Taiwanese woman, Chang Tsung-ming (張聰明), in 1878 and spent a great deal of time exploring the eastern parts of the island, proselytizing among the Aborigines and establishing churches.
George Mackay established about 60 churches in the north of the country and baptized about 3,000 people into the Christian faith.
He ushered in modern and scientific approaches in education, and he and his family established several schools, including Aletheia University, Tamkang High School and Taiwan Theological College and Seminary.
One of his best-known contributions to Taiwan was the establishment of Mackay Clinic in 1880, the first Western medical facility in northern Taiwan.
The Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei was founded in 1911 in commemoration of the missionary, who had died a decade earlier in what is now Tamsui District (淡水) in New Taipei City.
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