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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Rev. Alexander McTaggart

Rev. Alexander McTaggart, pastor of the Presbyterian church of St. Andrews, has the distinction of being the only minister who has ever been a member of the city council of Calgary. He was born at Burgoyne, Bruce district, Ontario, and comes of sturdy Scotch-Canadian stock.

In the acquirement of his early education Alexander McTaggart attended the public schools of his birthplace and subsequently entered the University of Toronto, where natural ability was supported and supplemented by a long course of training, followed by a theological course at Knox College, Toronto which latter institution of learning has had the honor of being the Alma Mater of many famous divines. In 1903 he completed his training and was ordained. A short time afterward he started west and Carnduff, Saskatchewan, was the first town of his ministry. For three years he remained there and in August, 1907, he located in Winnipeg as pastor of the Robertson Memorial church. During the seven years of his ministry there Mr. McTaggart not only built up a church, but he accomplished the harder task of making that church stand for unselfish service to the community. He (lid not regard the community about him as simply existing for his church, but he had the larger vision of his church existing for the community. Therefore he more readily gained the community for his church and notwithstanding the difficulties of the neighborhood, succeeded in building up a church with a membership of about three hundred and fifty and a Sunday evening attendance of about the same number. To some such a record may not seem particularly ambitious, but when one considers the district that lies around the Robertson Memorial church, the mass of varied and genuinely serviceable work carried on in connection with the institute is exceedingly creditable. The activities of the institute were not designed to bring glory to the church. Directly their aim was the good of the people and there they succeeded. Mr. McTaggai't has always been enthusiastic about his work. The one activity that has always aroused his greatest interest, however, is the work among children. While pastor of the Robertson Memorial he set aside one Sunday of each month for a children's service. On that day the children chose the text of the sermon and there was a children's choir and child soloists. Mr. McTaggart was held in high confidence and esteem by all of his fellowmen and Winnipeg lost one of her most enterprising citizens when he resigned as pastor of the Robertson Memorial and came to Calgary, where the past nine years he has been pastor of the St. Andrew's Presbyterian church.

Although Mr. McTaggart has devoted much of his time to his ministerial duties, he has been active in public life and for six years served the city of Calgary as an alderman, during which time he made a very careful study of all civic problems and acquired a mass of very valuable information from his years of experience. A man of literary ability, he contributed a series of articles on municipal affairs to the Morning Albertan, which were of very great value. In welfare matters he is an authority perhaps unexcelled in the province. Mr. McTaggart has another distinction iii that he belongs to neither of the dominant parties. He is neither A. C. G. A. nor A. D. L. P. The fact that he broke through two such strong combinations is evidence of his strong personality and strength of character. Because of this unusual position he occupied a dominating place in the council. He was responsible neither to labor nor to the C. G. A. He was a representative of all the people all the time and when he believed a thing to be right, he did it, asking leave of no one.


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