2009年8月7日 星期五

Mackay's first house in Danshui

On March 9, 1872, Dr George Leslie Mackay arrived in Danshui (left - the landing site; time of landing: 3PM). His first residence arranged by John Dodd, now 24 Mackay St (lower right - in the the far background is the bell tower of the Presbyterian Church), was described as:

"The only available house [that] had been built for a stable into the side of a hill with the [Danshui] river in front, and for this $15 a month was charged. Two pine boxes with their contents constituted his entire outfit. A chair and bed were loaned by the British Consul, and a pewter lamp was presented by the friendly Chinese. The house was whitewashed, and the walls were decorated with newspapers. Then he settled down to work with the consciousness that, as recorded in his diary, he had been led thither by the Master as directly as if his boxes had been checked for Tamsui."

And during the Sino-French war in 1884:

"The invasion of Formosa by the French was the occasion of much suffering and loss to the mission. Chinese hatred of all foreigners immediately asserted itself, and the missionary and his converts were in the public mind associated with the French invaders."

Many churches were destroyed and many converts slain. Mackay later filed a claim for the property losses and received a compensation of 10,000 Mexican silver dollars from Governor Liu Ming Ch'uan. With the sum, he built three magnificent stone churches in 艋舺, 新店, and 錫口 (now 松山) [Note: the original text was Sek-Khan which should have been Sek-Khau, the Hoklo pronunciation of 錫口].

After the French blockade of Taiwan was lifted in April, 1885, Mackay returned from Hongkong and went on an inspection tour of the churches that he had built in the eastern part of Taiwan. And the unexpected encounter with the French in Keelung:

"There were 8,000 French soldiers at Kelung, and they were harassed by twice as many Chinese troops who were drilled by German officers. The French mistaking him for a German spy, he and his [two] companions narrowly escaped being shot. The soldiers blindfolded them, led them through the lines and sent them on board a man-of-war. As soon as he was identified, courteous treatment was extended, and the next morning they were set at liberty."

The French evacuated from Keelung two months later.

Today, 81.3% of the total population in Taiwan admit to having a religious belief. The vast majority, 68.1%, are Buddhists or Taoists. And less than 4% are Christians. The missionary work has started in the 16th and 17th Century by the Spaniards and the Dutch, respectively, and has continued by others even to this day. Strictly speaking, Dr Mackay had not been able to achieve a large-scale conversion as he had set out to do. On the other hand, a long tradition of the Presbyterian faith has been firmly established. And along with preaching, Mackay had introduced medicine/dentistry, education of women, and structured higher education into the northern part of Taiwan. His personal adventures are no less inspiring. As he, many from Danshui have also traveled to foreign lands, worked feverishly towards a set goal, settled down, and contributed to their adopted homelands despite covert or overt discrimination. Perhaps this is all a common human experience and its paths only governed by fate.

[Quotes above, highlighted in blue, verbatim from: Effective workers in needy fields, by WF McDowell et al, Student volunteer movement for foreign missions, NY, 1902]

8 則留言:

  1. Eyedoc, are the Churches Mackay built with the 10K mexibucks still around?

  2. Hi Mr Turton, thanks for posting a link on your site.

    From what I can find: the 10 grand was used to construct 4 stone churches: The 艋舺教會(on 貴陽街) is still with us today. The one in 新店 unfortunately was destroyed by flood on Aug 5. 1924. The 大龍峒禮拜堂 was re-built on a different site (now on 迪化街三段) and renamed 大稻埕教會. And the 4th, 錫口教會 (renamed 松山教會) is still on 饒河街.

  3. "Strictly speaking, Dr Mackay had not been able to achieve a large-scale conversion as he had set out to do. On the other hand, a long tradition of the Presbyterian faith has been firmly established."

    But the influence of the Presbyterian Church, arguably good, is on a big scale, especially if you want to look at its role in the early democratization movement and resistance to the dictatorships of Chiang Kai-shek and his son.

  4. Actually, Dr Mackay did not sow the political seeds.

    The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has two branches, the southern branch is far more active in Taiwan politics.

    Mackay himself had dealt with the Governors skillfully - first Liu Ming Ch'uan (Qing Governor) and later Maresuke Nogi (Japanese Governor General). We'll never know how he would have done with the Chiangs. His followers, however, have remained quite low-keyed. The high-profile Presbyterian church leaders whom you see on TV are almost all from the south.

  5. EyeDoc, there are historical documents written between Dr. Mackay's children and Keneth W. Dowie that informs them about church leaders in Tamsui captured and murdered by the KMT during the 228 massacre for no reason.

    English document actually is provided by Mr. Turton:

    Chinese translation provided by me:

  6. Dear 竹板凳:

    Thank you very much for the links. Most older Danshui-ren remember that period. Even I, only 4 years old in 1947, recall the hapless high school kid shot and killed near my house. I am surprised to see an account of this incident in your note No 3:

    "3-1947 年 3 月 9 日,「二二八」事發十天後國民黨軍隊廿一師由上海乘太康艦抵達基隆。 3 月 10 日禮拜一,一輛滿載武裝士兵車頂架著重機槍的軍用卡車,由台北方向開來,約兩百多名中國兵,由油車口方向殺進淡水街頭,屠殺手無寸鐵的居民,幾乎任何會動的東西都開槍。一位淡中的駐校生,當時正上街,在事出突然閃躲不及的情況下,遭亂槍射殺於郵局斜對面。陳校長責無旁貸的下山去收屍帶回學校停放。事後警覺性斥責長子:「少年人,勿通去與人參加有的無的。」沒想到那句話竟然成了他的臨終遺言。"

    The details are a bit different from what we know; although it is not that important. There was a bullet hole left on the wooden door of my house, a reminder of that day every time I saw it.

  7. please do share your version of the account. The collection of accounts and how we interprete it is what makes histroy real for me.

  8. I agree. In time, I will post more.