Taiwan donates 160,000 face masks to Canadian missionary's hometown

07/09/2020 07:21 PM
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(Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto)
(Photo courtesy of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto)

Toronto, July 8 (CNA) Taiwan's MacKay Memorial Hospital and New Taipei City's Tamsui District Office have recently donated 160,000 surgical face masks to Oxford County in Canada's Ontario Province, the hometown of late Canadian missionary George Leslie MacKay, who founded the hospital in Tamsui in the late 19th century.

In a donation ceremony held Tuesday, Oxford County Warden Larry Martin thanked the Taiwanese community for the batch of donations, which he said will keep Canadian healthcare workers safe during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities worldwide: we appreciate the consideration for the health of our community and the special relationship we share with the citizens of Taiwan," Martin said at the ceremony.

Attending the ceremony on behalf of Taiwan's government was Catherine Hsu (徐詠梅), the nation's top representative to Toronto.

"The love from Taiwan to Oxford County is a testament to our special historic connection and long friendship for nearly one and one-half centuries. There is no better way to commemorate these anniversaries and the legacy left by Dr. MacKay in Taiwan than giving back during these difficult times," Hsu said.

At the ceremony, Alexander Wilson, a minister at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church and chair of the Community Advisory Council of Scarborough Health Network, also expressed gratitude toward the Taiwanese hospital for the timely donation.

He said he had previously written a letter to the MacKay Memorial Hospital seeking help and it was like "a dream comes true" for him to receive a positive response with the mask donation.

The Scarborough Health Network is also working with the hospital to hold videoconferences in the hope of learning from Taiwan's experience in combating the coronavirus disease, he noted.

According to Taiwan's office in Toronto, the MacKay Memorial Hospital has donated 150,000 surgical face masks, while Tamsui District Office donated another 10,000.

Sixty-thousand of the 150,000 masks donated by the MacKay Memorial Hospital are being distributed to Oxford County hospitals and long-term care homes, and the 10,000 masks donated by Tamsui will be used by front-line healthcare workers across the county.

The remaining masks donated by the MacKay Memorial Hospital will go to church-related medical institutions.

The MacKay Memorial Hospital originated from the MacKay Clinic, the first Western clinic in northern Taiwan.

It was founded by Oxford County-native MacKay in Tamsui in 1880.

He played a pivotal role in developing education and medicine in Taiwan in the 19th century when such social services were lacking.

The Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei was founded in 1911 in commemoration of the Canadian missionary. It has since become one of the most prominent hospitals in Taiwan.

The donation also furthers the relationship between Oxford County and Tamsui, around the time of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of ties between Oxford County and Tamsui District on June 30, 2000.

(By Hu Yu-li and Joseph Yeh)


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