Dr. Mahood was also notable for her great intellectual curiousity. “She retained that capacity right up to her 90th birthday,” says Prof. Hayford. After that age, she did start to slow down, but up to that point she had been reading, engaging with the world and feeding her mind.
“Margaret was a great debater and conversationalist. You didn’t want to come out on the opposite side of a debate with her,” Prof. Hayford says, recalling the many lively dinner-party discussions at the Mahood house. “Margaret was well read and read a lot of fiction. She wasn’t locked into her discipline and was always discovering new authors.”
Prof. Hayford describes Margaret as full of spirit and feistiness. Although she didn’t suffer fools gladly, she was always very well turned-out, polite and charming. “Oh sure, she had a sharp tongue,” Prof. Hayford adds, “And as a left-wing feminist, she was ahead of her time. Her sharp analysis of the world – that did include an analysis of gender – came before the term was coined.”
It was that astute analysis and the growing role the Mahoods played in the local socialist community that drew 1960s student activist Don Kossick to their Saskatoon dinner table. “We were the generation that came out of the Medicare struggle. Marg and Ed were incredible people. They mentored me. They were such a cool partnership. They were great encouragers of learning and critical thinking,” Mr. Kossick says.
According to Mr. Kossick – who continues his work as a grassroots community organizer to this day – the Mahood home welcomed a constant flow of people. Guests exchanged ideas and the couple pushed forward the concept of change.
The Mahoods were great believers in social change and they embodied those ideals. The couple was at the forefront of the anti-Apartheid movement, the peace movement, gender relations, the pro-choice movement, the anti-nuclear movement, and they supported solidarity with Palestinians.
For Dr. Mahood, it was politics first and then medicine, Sally says. Mr. Kossick echoes that sentiment: “The Mahoods made a huge difference in my life. They mentored us as community organizers and then they left the responsibility to us to mentor others.”
The pioneering psychiatrist left an indelible mark on her community. Dr. Margaret Mahood made history thanks to her courage and aplomb on the frontlines as a co-founder of the Saskatoon Community Clinic. She also made an invaluable contribution to her province as a physician willing to put herself at risk for her patients and for a medical system she believed in wholeheartedly.
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