Sir William Hingston 1829-1907 by Alan Hustak
Finalist for The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction in 2005
McGill graduate Sir William Hingston, MDCM’1851, did much to shape the city of Montreal; these days, he is mostly forgotten. But Alan Hustak’s biography of Sir William shows him “at the centre of Montreal’s medical, business, social and political life,” acting as chief surgeon for 25 years at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital and helping to “lay the groundwork for what is now the Université de Montréal.”
He served two terms as mayor of Montreal, guided the city through smallpox epidemics, was president of the Montreal City and District Savings Bank (today the Laurentian Bank of Canada) and was a Canadian senator for 11 years before his death in 1907.
Despite his impressive record, Hingston is relegated to being “a shadow from a bygone era.” Hustak attempts to remedy this undeserved obscurity and presents a portrait of a distinguished physician who was a unique product of his time and place, a Montrealer who “bridged ferocious linguistic, secular and religious divisions of the time.” – ANDREW MULLINS in McGILL NEWS
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