2014年9月1日 星期一

Minnie Mackay (Part 1)

As all expats in Taiwan who have married a Taiwanese, the upbringing of the offspring is influenced by two different cultures, often not equally. The George and Minnie Mackay marriage was no exception.

The Mackays were married on May 27, 1878. The wedding ceremony was officiated by British Consul Alexander Frater, conducted at the consulate. In attendance were Mr and Mrs Frater, Mr John Dodd (owner of Dodd & Co寶順洋行), Dr LE Ringer (a physician serving foreign-companies洋行 who often assisted Mackay in medical missions), and Mr and Mrs Lay.

The Scottish side of the Mackay family is recorded on this site: "George Leslie Mackay was born on March 21, 1884 in Zorra township near Woodstock, Oxford county, 100 miles west of Toronto, Canada. Mackay's father (also named George) and mother immigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1830's. They were among the tenant farmers driven from the Scottish highlands to make way for large estates. Dispossessed of land in Scotland, they crossed the Atlantic to begin a new life county in the rich agricultural plains of SW Ontario."

Dressed in Victorian fashion with George William in traditional Scottish kilt
Minne, in addition to being a wife, had proven to be an important partner in George Leslie Mackay's missionary work. From another site: "Another example of Mackay’s “going native” was his marriage to a Pe-po-hoan, which caused considerable controversy in Canada and in the foreign community on Formosa. Noting that few native women attended mission services, Mackay hoped his marriage would open their hearts and homes. He never thought about marrying a Canadian, he wrote in defence of his actions, “I am thinking how I can do most for Jesus.” Minnie Mackay, as she was prosaically called, proved to be a power in the mission."


And indeed a power she was, except Minnie Mackay was not a Pe-po-hoan平埔番 (Plains Aborigine) but a Hokkien-Han. This family photo (above) with everyone dressed up in Qing clothing is a good illustration of their more accustomed daily lives. The Mackay children did speak both Taiwanese and English; they were later educated in a English language school in Japan and eventually back home in Canada as Canadian citizens.

2 則留言:

  1. That is a very interesting pair of pictures! May I share them elsewhere on the internet?

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