Alice Lough McLaggan Bursary for Students with a Disability

Alice McLaggan was born October, 1928 in Monghyr, India.  Her parents, who were English from Newcastle upon Tyne, lived in India for 33 years where her father worked as an engineer with the British American Tobacco Co.  She attended elementary school in England but went back to India at age eight.   For the rest of her education she was either home schooled or sent to Boarding School in India and and Sri Lanka.   She returned to England in l945 to complete her education and then attended Edinburgh University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1954. 

Alice emigrated to Canada from England and lived in Toronto where she met her husband, who was the brother of one of the three girls with whom she lived.  They were married a year later in Perth, Ontario on September 10th, l960.  Alice has held various office administrative positions over her career but her final position was as Executive Director of a national voluntary organization in Ottawa, Ontario.

Besides all the places she has lived mentioned above, she has also lived in Montreal, Ottawa and now Victoria.  She has visited France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Scandinavian countries, all the United States and her favourite country, New Zealand.  Alice loves to sew, knit, read and attend symphony concerts. 

What is most amazing about Alice McLaggan is that she has been physically handicapped since she contracted polio in 1944 at the age of 15.   She was in boarding school in Simla, India at the time.   One side was partially paralyzed from the waist down and from then on she has walked slowly and with difficulty.  Ten years ago, she had to have a hip replacement on her “good” side which had taken most of her weight all those years.  She had always used a cane but when osteoporosis set in, two canes were recommended when she left the house.

The one thing Alice is most proud of is receiving her university degree.  Obtaining her degree was a challenge because of her physical disability and also because her elementary and high school education had been in so many schools and countries, creating gaps in her formal education.

She says “I believe that it is very important to be well educated in order to take one's place in life.   It is more important for those with physical disabilities because of the competition they face in the work place.”

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