Clare Elliot McGill (1919-1996)


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Taiwan Church News. Occasional Bulletin, V.13, no.5 September/October 1996 

 Rev. Dr. Clare Elliot McGill(穆克禮), longtime missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in Taiwan, passed away on July 11, 1996 in Glencoe, Ontario.

Dr. McGill was a graduate of University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., and Westminister Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, USA. Dr. McGill worked for over thirty years in the aboriginal tribe of Tayal, translating the Bible into the Tayal language. He also translated many hymns into Tayal.

With his wife, Grace, the McGills were known as Wadan and Chiwas, their aboriginal names by the Tayals.

For his important missionary work Rev. Mcgill was given a honorary doctorate of Divinity by the Tainan Theological College and Seminary(台南神學院) in 1983.

In 1984, Dr.McGill was forced to self-retire by a progressively serious Parkinson’s Disease, and returned to his native Canada that year. Right before his death Dr. McGill lost his ability to move or speak due to the same illness.

Rev. Dr. Clare McGill is survived by two sons, both of whom teach in Taiwan and their grandchildren

From the files of the TCCCNA Committee of Care for Former Missionaries to Taiwan.   Grace McGill wrote:

Rev. Clare Elliot McGill passed away on July 11, 1996 at age 77.

Clare was born on May 17, 1919 eldest son and had only one brother, raised on a farm in S.W.Ontario to a very active Presbyterian father and active WMS mother. He distinguished himself in sports (soccer) in High School and bought his own farm, farming for 8 years before receiving his call to the ministry. He began pre-theology study at the University of Western Ontario in 1946 and a B.A in 1949. He developed an interest in overseas missionary service during two summers (1948 & 1949) as student summer mission field supply.

From 1949 to 1952 he earned his B.D. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and married on his 32 birthday in May 1951. After a year of missionary orientation at the Kennedy School of Missions in Hartford, Connecticut the couple left for Taiwan August 1953.

Clare and Grace served in Taiwan from 1953 to 1984. They devoted mostly in reduction of the Tayal language to writing, literacy materials, series of hymn books and Tayal New Testament (1974) plus preaching and encouragement to the Tayal churches.,

Clare spent his 12 years of retirement struggling with failing health from Parkinson’s disease which was diagnosed in 1979. He received excellent care in a nursing home. Just 9 miles from their home for the last 6 years of his life and passed very peacefully into the presence of the Lord with his two sons to carry him to his final resting place. 

Grace wrote: I am very comforted as his widow that he completed the “good works that God had before ordained for him”



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