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Ontario Provincial Parliament commemorates 150 years since Canadian missionary's arrival in Taiwan

MP reads statement honoring George Leslie MacKay's contributions to Taiwanese society

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Ontario Provincial Parliament celebrates 150 years since Canadian missionary George Leslie MacKay's arrival in Taiwan. (TECO-Toronto photo)

Ontario Provincial Parliament celebrates 150 years since Canadian missionary George Leslie MacKay's arrival in Taiwan. (TECO-Toronto photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Ontario Provincial Parliament member Ernie Hardeman issued a statement on Tuesday (March 22) to commemorate the 150th-anniversary of Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay’s arrival in Taiwan.

Hardeman said that MacKay, who was born in Oxford County, Ontario in 1844, is still regarded as a hero by the Taiwanese. Activities have been held in his honor, the parliamentarian said.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had sent a special letter to the Canadian Mackay Committee, which Hardeman read out loud in parliament, praising the missionary’s contributions to Taiwanese society and Taiwan-Canada relations, CNA reported.

Taiwan and Canada are like-minded, democratic countries, working together to achieve global peace, stability, and prosperity, Tsai wrote.

Hardeman’s statement received applause from his fellow parliamentarians. The affair was attended by Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Toronto Chen Chin-ling (陳錦玲), Co-chairman of the Canadian Mackay Committee Chung Ya-tse (鍾雅澤), Overseas Community Affairs Council members Lin Mei-ling (林美玲) and Huang Huang-yu (黃煌裕), and the former president of the World Federation of Taiwanese Associations Luo Yi-shi (羅益世) and his wife, who were individually introduced by Hardeman.

Chen thanked Hardeman for his statement of friendship and presented a souvenir gift box to commemorate the historic occasion.

MacKay, the first Presbyterian missionary in northern Taiwan, arrived in Tamsui in 1872. He traveled throughout Taiwan, offering free dentistry services and conducting missionary work.

He established multiple churches, educational institutions, and even a hospital. He also recorded and collected endemic specimens of geology, flora, and fauna. MacKay died in Taiwan in 1901.