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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Colonel George MacDonald, M.D.


No history of Calgary would be complete without mention of Colonel George Macdonald, who is medical advisor for the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on the 22d of September, 1863, a son of George Wood and Clementine Cheyne (Chalmers) Macdonald, likewise natives of Scotland, both of whom came to Canada when young people. On the maternal side Colonel Macdonald is related to Lord Robert Chalmers of England. The father was in the employ of the Great Eastern Railroad in his native land for some time and after coming to this country was employed as bookkeeper by Lorne McDougal at Renfrew. He was holding the position of general auditor at the time of his death and had also been paymaster on the west extension of the Canada Extension. Throughout his life the father was a stanch supporter of the Liberal party and he maintained an active interest in party affairs. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons and he was a member of the Free Church of Scotland. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Macdonald ten children were born, five of whom are living, Colonel George, whose name introduces this review, being the oldest member of the family.

In the pursuit of his education George Macdonald attended the publie schools of the old country, was for some time a student in the Montreal schools, after coming to Canada with his parents, and was graduated from the high school at Renfrew. In his boyhood he had decided to enter the medical profession and therefore he enrolled in McGill University, from which institution he was graduated in 1889. For the following year he practiced in Renfrew and in 1890 came to Calgary as surgeon for the C. & E., during the construction of that road. He began private practice in 1895 and built up an extensive and important patronage, continuing to devote his entire time and attention to his professional duties until the World war broke out. Being an intense patriot he was quick to put all personal interests aside, and he raised the Twelfth C. Al. R., the best cavalry unit that saw active service overseas. He was in command of the Twelfth with the rank of colonel until that unit was broken up, when he commanded the Royal Canadian Dragoons and the Fort Garry Horse. He organized Bramshott Camp and later turned it over to Lord Brook, brigadier general. He was serving in the Second Battalion in 1916, when he was recalled to take charge of District 13 at Calgary, so serving from March, 1917, to March, 1919, when he became associated with the Department of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment in a professional capacity. Colonel Macdonald is in every sense of the word the right man for the place and the manner in which he has cared for his various cases has won for him the confidence and respect of the entire medical profession. He is sincerely devoted to this profession, in which he stands for the highest and best.

On the 5th of December, 1895, was celebrated the marriage of Colonel Macdonald to Miss Mary Alice Macleod, a native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. To their union two children have been born: Flora and Norma, both living at home.

In his political views Colonel Macdonald is a Conservative. For twelve years he held the office of health officer of Calgary, and was the first medical officer of the Northwest Territories Militia, of which body he has been a member for years. On the night of January 8, 1923, his term of service in the office of president of the Military Institute expired, after a successful administration. Fraternally the Colonel is identified with the Masons. He was the first grand master of the Grand Lodge of Alberta and for ten years held the office of grand secretary. He is a Knight Templar and has attained the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite. He is past provincial prior in the Great Priory, K. T., and is past grand superintendent of the Chapter. He is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, having passed through all chairs in both lodges. lie is also a member of the Canadian Order of Foresters. During the year 1897 the Colonel's health failed and in August of that year he went to Athabaska and Dawson, where he spent the winter, he lived out of doors that winter and returned to Calgary the following year. While there he participated in many winter sports, for he has always been interested in all forms of athletics, and took the first lacrosse team to play in Vancouver in 1891. Few men are more active in professional, fraternal and social circles than Colonel Macdonald, and he is very popular, for he has the genius for making and keeping friends.


 


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