The Late Dr. Joyce Madigane, O.P.E.I.Published on 11 February 2014 Hansard and Statements by Senator Catherine Callbeck (retired)
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck:
Honourable senators, late last week the people of my home province lost an exceptional Islander, Dr. Joyce Madigane, who passed away after a second battle with cancer.
Dr. Madigane was a native of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and came to Tyne Valley, Prince Edward Island, in 1974, where she practised medicine for nearly 40 years.
To say that Dr. Madigane devoted her life to medicine would be an understatement. Everyone in the region can attest to her unwavering dedication to her patients. She regularly spent long hours in the office and on call at Stewart Memorial Hospital. She travelled back and forth to check on her patients at Prince County Hospital and made weekly visits to Lennox Island to see Aboriginal patients living on reserve. She was a fierce advocate for the needs of Islanders living in rural areas, especially in West Prince, and for the rights of First Nation Islanders.
She never forgot her homeland, Zimbabwe, and returned there to assist in mission clinics. She helped members of her extended family and others with educational funding, and even supported resistance and freedom movements in Africa.
Last year, Dr. Madigane was inducted into the Order of Prince Edward Island, the highest honour an Island resident can receive. The biography that accompanied the announcement described her in this way:
Dr. Joyce Madigane lives up to the values laid out in the Order of Prince Edward Island through, literally, her life- giving contribution to the Island, her devotion to her occupation, and her long public service.
Over the years, she has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Tyne Valley Citizen of the Year Award. In 2010, she was named the Elder of the Year by the Lennox Island First Nation, as well as one of the top 25 immigrants by Canadian Immigrant magazine.
In the interview that accompanied the magazine award, Dr. Madigane explained why she worked so hard:
When people trust you, you don’t want to let them down. And that is what drives me. And I can’t afford to let Tyne Valley down.
Honourable senators, there’s no doubt that Dr. Madigane will be missed by her patients, by the people of Tyne Valley and Lennox Island, and the province as a whole. She was simply outstanding, and made a lasting and positive impact on the lives of others wherever she went. At this time, please join with me in offering our deepest condolences to the family.