Women's Missionary Association: Taiwan/Formosa

Scope and Content

Formosa minutes and correspondence; mission building plans; photographs and press cuttings.

Administrative / Biographical History

By 1880 there were two WMA missionaries in Formosa, one of whom was the widow of a missionary who had died in post. In 1885 two further women missionaries arrived who worked together for thirty-three years, working first with women and then opening a school for girls in 1887. A further missionary arrived in 1888 and subsequently the tasks of supervising the school, itinerating in the countryside and of teaching in the hospitals were rotated. The training Bible Women began in 1895 with the building of a Women's Bible School. This became known as the Women's Bible Institute in 1928.

The girls' school was not much affected by the assumption of Japanese rule in 1895 although, in due course, Japanese was insisted upon as a subject. Secondary education for girls was not undertaken until the 1920s, a new school being opened in 1923. Under Miss Jessie Galt's headship from 1927 to 1936 the school attained a standard equal to that of a secular Girls' High School. After her retirement, a Japanese head was insisted upon. As war neared the situation became increasingly difficult and by 1940 there were only five missionaries left, of whom three were missionaries of the WMA. This party left Formosa in November 1940. The three women members: Misses Livingston, Macintosh and Cullen were relocated to Singapore. They were evacuated from there in February 1942 but their ship was sunk by the Japanese. Mackintosh and Livingstone died in an internment camp though Cullen managed to survive. [To be completed]

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