Rev. George Leslie Mackay
George Leslie Mackay, was born on March 21, 1844 in Zorra Township, Oxford County to George Mackay and Helen Sutherland, who were Scottish immigrants. In the late 19th century, he came to Taiwan to devote himself to missionary work and medical practice. He was called "Mackay", "Dr. Mackay " or "Rev. Mackay ". Western historians praised Mackay that he would "rather burn out, than rust out."
Mackay studied at the Normal School, and taught at the primary school for six years after he graduated at 15. He entered Toronto University and Knox Theological College when he was 21. He entered Princeton Theological College in 1867, and graduated in April, 1870. After that, Mackay applied to the Overseas Mission of the General Assembly of Canadian Presbyterian Church and volunteered as an overseas missionary.
On October 19, 1871, Mackay left his hometown and arrived in Kaohsiung on December 30. Taiwan wasn’t Mackay’s original plan. He said, “I had no plans, but invisible force were leading me to the ‘Beautiful Island.” Accompanied by Rev. Hugh Ritchie, they arrived in Tamsui on March 9, 1872. “One look toward the north, another toward the south, another far inland to the dark green hills, and I was content. There came to me a calm, clear, prophetic assurance that here would be my home, and some voice said to me, ‘This is the land”, said Mackay. Then he began preaching and establishing churches. Mackay taught people the knowledge of the public health, and started the medical practice. He also imported the vegetable seeds to farmers and introduced a lot of knowledge of science from the West.
Dr. Mackay got married to. Cong-Ming Jhang (known as "Minnie" in the West) on May 27, 1878. On July 7, 1882, the building of Oxford College in Tamsui was completed. From 1883 to 1888, Dr. Mackay extended his missionary work to Taiwanese aborigines. In 1890, Dr. Mackay visited Hualian. After that he extended his missionary work all over north Taiwan.
On May, 1900, Mackay suffered from throat cancer and became dumb. After fighting illness for years, he died in his Tamsui residence at the age of 58. By Mackay’s last words, his body was not buried in Tamsui Foreigners Cemetery but in his family cemetery.
In memory of Dr. Mackay, who devoted himself to Taiwan, there was a street called “Mackay Street” in Tamsui. Besides, there was a Mackay’s head sculpture at this street. It has become an important historical sites.
A Chronicle of Events
Data from： [Mackay and Oxford College]
- March 21st, 1844: Born in Oxford, Ontario, Canada.
- 1850: Entered Woodstock Elementary School.
- 1855: Graduated from Woodstock Elementary School and entered the Toronto Normal School.
- 1858: Graduated from the Toronto Normal School.
- 1859: Taught at Maitland Elementary School.
- September 1866: Entered University of Toronto and Knox Theological Seminary.
- September 1867: Entered Princeton Theological Seminary.
- April 26th, 1870: Graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary .
- August 1870: Sent by Toronto Presbytery as a pastor at New Market Church and Mount Albert Church.
- September 19th, 1870: Applied to the Overseas Mission of the General Assembly of Canadian Presbyterian Church and volunteers as an overseas missionary.
- November 1870: Entered the University of Edinburgh and studies theology with Alexander.
- Mid-June 1871: A convention of the General Assembly of the Canadian Presbyterian Church held in Quebec. Resolved his voluntary to overseas missionary and China was the area for his mission.
- September 19th, 1871: Dr. Mackay was appointed as a pastor.
- October 19th, 1871: Took the train from Woodstock to Mainland China for missionary.
- December 30th, 1871: Arrived in Kaohsiung Taiwan.
- March 7, 1872: Accompanied by Rev. Lee Ma, Dr. Mackay headed for northern Taiwan from Ta-kow by a sail called “Sea-Dragon”.
- March 9, 1872: Mackay arrived in Tamsui (now the river bank near Tamsui post office).
- April 10, 1872: The opening of Tamsui Church.
- April 25, 1872: Giam Chheng-Hoa visited Dr. Mackay and became his student. He was the first follower in the Northern Taiwan Synod of the Presbyterian Church.
- January 9, 1873: The first baptism of the Northern Taiwan Synod of the Presbyterian Church was held in Tamsui Church. Five persons were baptized.
- January 16, 1873: The first Holy Communion of Northern Taiwan Synod of the Presbyterian Church was heldd in Tamsui Church.
- May 27, 1878: Dr. Mackay married Cong-Ming Jhang (known as "Minnie" in the West).
- May 24, 1879: Mary Ellen Mackay, Dr. Mackay’s eldest daughter was born in Da Lung Dong.
- January 1, 1880: Dr. Mackay with his wife and daughter went back to Canada.
- September 4, 1880: Bella Catherine Mackay, Dr. Mackay’s second daughter born in Canada.
- 1880: Queen’s University in Canada awarded Mackay an honorary Doctor of Divinity.
- November 30, 1881: Dr. Mackay came back to Tamsui.
- January 22nd 1882: Rev. G.W. Mackay, Dr. Mackay’s only son was born in Tamsui.
- June 2nd 1901: Dr. Mackay died at 4:00 PM in his Tamsui residence at the age of 58. His overseas mission lasted for 30 years.
- June 4th 1901: His body was buried in Mackay Cemetery and a gravestone was set up in memory of Dr. Mackay.
- August 19th 1985: It was announced that Mackay Cemetery was a historical site in Taiwan.
- June 2nd 2001: In memory of Dr. Mackay, it was proclaimed Mackay Day.
~translated by Yu-Shan Zheng, Yu-Hui Lyu, and Ai-Ci Jhang
|傳教士||Rev. George Leslie Mackay．德明利姑娘．華雅各．葉順．莊天能|