Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Dr. Mary Percy Jackson, a rural medical pioneer. Dr. Jackson passed away last Saturday in Edmonton at the age of 95.
In 1929 Dr. Jackson was fresh out of medical school in England and was looking for adventure. She found it in the Battle River area of the Peace River country where she became the resident doctor and made her rounds on horseback.
Her patients, who were mainly Cree and recent immigrants, pitched in to buy her a horse. The working conditions were rough and isolated. Supplies and provisions were scarce. In spite of that she was successful and highly regarded because of her dedication to her patients. She used her ingenuity to overcome the isolation, transportation challenges and lack of medical equipment.
In 1990 Dr. Jackson was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her service.
I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Mary Percy Jackson and of listening to her stories of practising medicine under tough conditions. I debated health care issues with her when she was almost 90 years old.
Her memorial service will be held on June 3 in Manning and Keg River, Alberta.