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The Jesuit and the Dragon: A Canadian Life in the Eastern Himalayas Paperback – 1 Jun 1995

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Davies (Robert) Publishing,Canada (Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1895854377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1895854374
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,176,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is the story of a hero revered in a faraway land, but unknown in his home country of Canada. After suffering the indignity of being kicked out of his mission post in Darjeeling, Father Bill Mackey became a true hero, a living legend in the mystical kingdom of Bhutan - land of the dragon. William Mackey is a Jesuit priest who is loved and respected in a Buddhist country that does not allow proselytization, a missionary who has converted not a single Bhutanese. Born to working-class immigrant parents of Irish background and a Catholic-Protestant mix, Bill Mackey was taught and inspired by Jesuit teachers. After joining the Jesuits himself and taking 16 years of training in English and French Canada, he was part of the small band of Canadians who left for the Darjeeling Mission in North-East India in 1946. His years of heading schools in the Darjeeling hills served as an apprenticeship for his ultimate challenge: to set up a high school and education system in a remote mountain kingdom barely emerging from the middle ages. More than successful in this mission, he won the hearts of the Bhutanese with his personality, hard work and spirituality. Bill Mackey's story is told in the spirit of this Canadian, drawn from his own storytelling, it captures his humour, energy and his open approach to life.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Jesuit and the Dragon" is a carefully written book that isn't a biography but rather a record of the tales that Father William Mackey loved to tell.
I listened to those tales so often here in Bhutan. He was a great story teller and as I read the "Jesuit and the Dragon" I was so grateful that Howard spent the time to carefully record those precious stories. Especially interesting are the tales relating to his arrival in Bhutan in the early 1960's before the Dragon Kingdom had really opened to the outside world.
Father Mackey died in 1995 but this book allows his tales to live on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book documenting a rare personality 8 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Father William Mackey, the subject of the book, was one of the few "white" westerners(a Jesuit priest for that matter) to develop a close affinity with the people of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The book is a great way to learn about a person who was welcomed and loved by the Bhutanese. A Jesuit priest, Father Mackey was instrumental in introducing western education in Bhutan in the 1960s.He is still remembered affectionately in Bhutan and he touched the life of many a Bhutanese ranging from the royal family to farmers in rural Bhutan. The late Father Mackey, was accorded the highest civilian honor, the medal of the "Heart Son of Bhutan" by the present monarch of Bhutan,His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. A legend in Bhutan, there are numerous stories about this missionary who did not prosetylize and was least interested in converting the predominantly Buddhist Bhutanese. The author of the book had the good fortune of interviewing Father Mackey extensively. A great story of a good man.
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