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Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Daniel Sayne MacKay (1878-1943)

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Daniel Sayne MacKay
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Surgeon, soldier.

Born at Reserve Mines, Nova Scotia on 20 January 1878, son of Senator William Mackay MD and Catherine Campbell Sutherland, he was educated at local public schools and Pictou Academy (Pictou, Nova Scotia). He graduated with a medical degree from McGill University in June 1901 then did postgraduate work in Great Britain and Europe. He was House Surgeon at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary (1903-1904) then he came to Winnipeg in 1905 and was visiting surgeon in the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital (1909-1911).

He was appointed as Associate Gynecologist at the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1911 and he lectured in Gynecology in the Medical Faculty of the University of Manitoba from 1911 to 1919. He was made Associate Professor Clinical Gynecology in 1919 and succeeded Robert Mills Simpson as Head Gynecologist at the Medical College in 1928. He served as Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1928 until retirement in 1939.

He joined the Canadian Militia in 1892, serving in the 17th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. In 1907 he joined the 16th Field Ambulance, CAMC, on organization and served in the unit until 1910 when he transferred to 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders with combatant rank on organization. He commanded a Special Company of the Battalion visiting mother battalion at the coronation of King George in June 1911. He joined the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on organization in November 1914. He served as second in command, Belgium and France, returning to Canada in 1916 to organize and command the 196th Western University Battalion. He returned to England in the autumn of 1916 and organized the 19th Reserve Battalion of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in January 1917. He served with this battalion until October 1917 when he transferred to command the Young Soldiers’ Battalion, serving with the unit until the end of the war. He later commanded the 2nd Battalion (Reserves) of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.

On 18 July 1912, he married Catherine Agnes Brydon (1884-1936, daughter of James Brydon) and they had one son, William Brydon Fraser MacKay (1914-2004). He was a member of the University Club of Montreal, Manitoba Club, Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Medical Society, and Presbyterian church. The family lived at 36 Purcell Avenue (c1925) and 820 Wellington Crescent (1929-?).

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 27 October 1943 and was buried in the St. John's Cathedral Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: MacKay House (820 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg)


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Birth registration [William Brydon Fraser MacKay], Manitoba Vital Statics.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Dr. D. S. MacKay dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1943. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9, page 141]

“Dr. D. S. MacKay, veteran medico, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 October 1943, page 15.

Obituary [William Brydon Fraser MacKay], Globe and Mail, 2 October 2004.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Mohammad Zarrabian for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 April 2023

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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