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Exhibition on Canadian missionary Mackay opens in Taipei

2014/12/19 10:17:00

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) An exhibition that chronicles the contributions of Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay has opened in Taipei, focusing on his role in Taiwan's development in the late 19th century.

"Dr. Mackay: An Extraordinary Canadian in Taiwan" was organized by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) and is being held at the office's Mackay room Dec. 15-Jan.16.

It comprises photos, books and videos that illustrate Mackay's dedication and passion for the people of Taiwan.

The exhibition also displays seeds of several vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and cauliflower, which Mackay introduced into Taiwan.

"We want to take this opportunity to remind people of Dr. Mackay," said Canada's representative to Taiwan Kathleen Mackay (no relation to Dr. Mackay) at a news conference Tuesday.

Mackay first arrived in Taiwan in March 1872 and spent 29 years in the country, preaching about Christian values and working to develop education and medicine.

He married a Taiwanese woman Zhang Cong-ming in 1878 and spent much time exploring eastern parts of Taiwan, proselytizing among the indigenous people there and establishing churches.

During his 29 years in Taiwan, Mackay established about 60 churches in the north of the country and baptized about 3,000 people into the Christian faith.

In the area of education, Mackay ushered in modern and scientific approaches in Taiwan and established schools to cultivate Taiwanese talent.

Aletheia University, Tamkang High School and Taiwan Theological College and Seminary were all established by Mackay and his family.

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 Canadian missionary.

He died in 1901 in Tamsui (Danshui), New Taipei City.

(By Elaine Hou)
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