Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1II 1924

Dr. Maurice Macdonald Seymour, whose career is an honor to the medical profession of northwestern Canada, where he- has been known as a leading physician and surgeon for more than four decades, has re- sided in Regina since 1904 and during the past eighteen years has acted as Commissioner of Public Health for the province of Saskatchewan. His birth occurred at Goderich, Ontario, on the 7th of July, 1857, his parents being Captain Maurice Bain and Maria (Macdonald) Seymour, who were natives of Ireland and Scotland, respectively. - The paternal grandfather, Maurice Seymour, was also a native of the Emerald isle. His son, Captain Seymour of His Majesty's Service, who emigrated to Canada after retiring from the army, took up his abode in Ontario in the early 'SOs and remained a resident of that province until called to his final rest. He was successfully engaged in the grain and commission business at Goderich. It was at St Andrews, Ontario, that he wedded Maria Macdonald, who had located in that province when a girl, with her father, Major Donald Macdonald of Glencoe, Scotland. The latter served with Wellington at Waterloo and was presented with a sword and medal after the notable victory-trophies which are still in the possession of his descendants. After establishing his home in Ontario he was placed in charge of militia, so that his entire life was given to military service. Captain Maurice B. Seymour, father of Dr. Seymour, was a Liberal in his political views, while his religious faith was that of the Catholic church, of which his wife was also a devout communicant. Maurice Macdonald Seymour, who is the only surviving member of his father's family of three children, supplemented his preliminary edu- cation by a course of study in Assumption College at Sandwich, Ontario, from which he was graduated in 1873. In preparation for a professional career he then entered the medical department of McGill University at Montreal, which institution conferred upon him the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master in Surgery in 1879. It was from Toronto Uni- versity that he received the degree of D. P. - H. For two years following his graduation from McGill he remained in Montreal, doing special post- graduate work, which well qualified him for the onerous and responsible duties which later devolved upon him in the pursuit of his profession in new and sparsely settled districts. In the year 1881 he entered upon general practice at Winnipeg. A contemporary biographer has written in this connection: "In the early '80s the Doctor had to make many journeys that involved all the hazards and perils of the old-time explorers. On horseback and by every known means of conveyance he has carried the skill of his profession to bedsides in almost every locality of this primitive civilization. He was the first to perform an abdominal section successfully in that portion of the Northwest Territory which is now the province of Saskatchewan." In 1885 he was appointed surgeon of the Ninety-fifth Battalion and served through the Riel Rebellion, receiving the Northwest Rebellion medal. After the completion of the construc- tion of the Canadian Pacific Railway he located at Fort Qu'Appelle, Sas- katchewan, where he remained in practice until 1904, since which year he has been a resident of Regina. In 1906 he was appointed Commis- sioner of Public Health for the province and has served in that important and responsible position throughout the intervening period of eighteen years. Of his work in this connection it has been said: "The marked advances made in every branch of public health activity in the province, and the general stimulus that has been given to matters of hygiene and sanitation are evidence of his thorough grasp of the important duties which fall to him. The capable manner in which the affairs of his de- partment have been administered, and his unceasing energy in adopting measures to protect the health of the public, have more than justified his appointment to this position. He is rightly considered one of the leading authorities on questions of public health, and his views are being con- tinually sought and quoted by the leading medical and health journals throughout the Dominion and many parts of the United States. His wide experience, knowledge of local conditions, originality of thought and genial disposition all combine to give him an outstanding personality and to inspire confidence in the government administration on behalf of the health of the people." Dr. D. A. Craig, a member of the American College of Surgeons, who visited Regina in the fall of 1922, pronounced the Saskatchewan Bureau of public health the best in Canada and equal to any in the States. In 1920 Dr. Seymour received the Fellow's degree of the Royal Institute of Public Health in England, in recognition of his splen- did work as Public Health Commissioner in Canada~ For twenty years he was a member of the Medical Council of the Northwest Territories, serving on two occasions as president and also as vice president of that body. In 1906 he organized the Saskatchewan Medical Association, which has become the largest and most useful professional society in the prov- ince. He has served as president of the Canadian Public Health Associa- tion and as vice president of the American Health Association, while in 1920 he was made a fellow of the American Public Health Association. He is likewise a member of the Dominion Council of Health. Dr. Sey- mour organized the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League, which was incorporated and through whose efforts was built at Fort Qu'Appelle one of the most complete sanitariums in the Dominion, over two million dollars having already been expended in the work. In 1880, at Aylmer, Quebec, Dr. Seymour was united in marriage to Miss Helena Louise La Rue, who was born in Canada and who is a daugh- ter of Andrew La Rue, a pioneer notary public of Quebec. Dr. and Mrs. Seymour became parents of five children: Three sons who are residents of California; and two daughters, Ena Isabella, the wife of Major M. A. Burbank, who died overseas during the Great war; and Cora Muriel, the widow of Frank Dean, who passed away in California in 1922. In religious faith the family are Roman Catholics. The Doctor has refused all offers to enter the political field, having preferred to devote his un- divided attention to his professional work, and as an authority on health conditions his fame is well deserved. In August, 1923, a request was received by the Dominion Government, from the League of Nations, to name a physician actively engaged in public health work, to represent Canada upon the Health Section of the League of Nations. In compliance with this request Doctor Seymour was nominated, and along with representatives of eighteen other coun- tries of the world undertook the making of a health survey of the United States after which Europe will be visited, the final conference being held at Geneva, Switzerland, the headquarters of the League. Many express- ions of approval have been heard of the honour being conferred upon Doctor Seymour to represent Canada upon this most important Commis- sion. Bibliography follows:

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