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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 3
Donald William MacKay

Donald W. MacKay, secretary of the Edmonton Bar Association, has rapidly progressed since entering upon his, professional career and his present success is the merited reward of conscientious application, natural talent and acquired ability. He was born at West Zorra, in Oxford county, Ontario, October 12, 1884, and is a son of William James MacKay, also a native of that place. The father was born in 1858 and in Embro, Oxford county, Ontario, he married Annie Angus Mitchell, who was there born in 1860. Her death occurred at Embro, May 15, 1902, when she was forty-two years of age. i\Ir. MacKay is still residing at that place. His father, Donald MacKay, was a native of Scotland.

Donald V. MacKay acquired his education in the grammar schools of Oxford county and the high school at St. Mary's, Ontario, and he afterward taught school in that province for a year. He then accepted a clerical position in the Traders Bank at Woodstock, Ontario, and remained with that financial house for two years, spending a portion of the time in its Stratford Bank. In 1906 he became connected with the Traders Bank of Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the capacity of teller, filling that position until January, 1908, when he began the study of law in the office of Campbell, Pitblado & Company, well known banisters of that city. On September 1, 1912, he came to Edmonton and entered the law office of Parlee, Freeman & Abbott as an articled student. Upon his admission to the bar in February, 1914, he was offered a partnership in that firm, which was conducted under the name of Parlee, Freeman, Abbott & MacKay for two years, when Mr. Abbott withdrew from the organization, which has since been known as Parlee, Freeman, MacKay & Howson. They have been entrusted with important litigated interests and theirs is one of the leading law firms of the city. Mr. MacKay is well versed in the law, being able to base his arguments upon a thorough knowledge of and familiarity with statute and precedent and to present a case upon its merits, never failing to recognize the main point at issue and never neglecting to give a thorough preparation. his professional standing is indicated in the fact that he has been chosen secretary of the Edmonton Bar Association, in which capacity he is now serving.

Mr. MacKay is a veteran of the World war and has been awarded two medals by the government in recognition of his military service. He enlisted February 16, 1916, as a lieutenant in the One hundred and Ninety- fourth Battalion, which was organized and raised at Edmonton, and in September of that year was commissioned captain. He was reverted to lieutenant and placed on the strength of the Forty-ninth Overseas Battalion in December, 1917. He participated in the following important engagements: The battle of Amiens, in August, 1918; Dracourt Quent Switch, popularly known as the second battle of Arras; the fighting in Bourlon Wood, and the Cambrai operation in October, 1918, returning to Canada for demobilization in April, 1919.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, on the 8th of June, 1912, Mr. MacKay was married to Miss Alma Jean Ross, a daughter of the late Donald Alexander Ross, a mine superintendent. Mr. MacKay is a member of the Edmonton Club and the Edmonton Golf & Country Club. He is affiliated with the Robertson Presbyterian church and his political allegiance is given to the Conservative party He holds to high standards in his professional service and enjoys in large measure the confidence and respect of his fellow practitioners.


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