I was always keenly interested in missionary service. Hearing of our Church’s work in Korea and Trinidad, this always challenged and interested me. I was a great reader and it seemed as if I was always receiving Christian literature telling of what the Lord was doing in the world. I did teach in several schools, but when the door opened, I enrolled in the Missionary and Deaconess Training School in Toronto. It was only a two-year course then. And when I graduated in 1922, I had my first appointment here in the Thorburn congregation. Through the years, I served in several of the Presbyteries of the Synod.
From an interview with Rev. Murray Graham Good News, Spring 1990
Miss Estelle V. MacKenzie was born in Gairloch, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. As a young girl, she joined the Mission Band in Millbrook and later became a member of the Woman’s Missionary Society (E.D.) through the auxiliary in Elmfield. Estelle graduated from the Presbyterian Missionary and Deaconess Training Home in Toronto in 1922. Returning to Pictou County, she was designated a deaconess by the Presbytery of Pictou, June 20, 1922. She worked in Thorburn for three years.
Then, while working in Chalmers Jack Mission in North Sydney, she taught day school as well as doing her church work. Estelle served under the W.M.S. in River Herbert for six years. After spending two years in Knox Church, Halifax, her work took her to Titusville, N.B., to Whitney Pier, back to Titusville, thence to River Herbert and on to summer work in Cape North, Glace Bay, Birch Grove and Whitney Pier. She then spent four years in Millerton, N.B. and finally at Salt Springs, Kings County, under the St. John Presbytery, retiring in 1953. She received her gold Deaconess pin for twenty-five years of faithful service.
Estelle was a member of St. Andrew’s Auxiliary in Pictou. In her honour, in 1991, the auxiliary was re-named as “The Estelle MacKenzie Auxiliary”.
Due to failing eyesight and then complete blindness, she moved into the Oddfellow’s Home in 1979 where she lived until her death on September 30, 1996 at the age of 103. Estelle was a very giving person. She regularly tithed to the Church and then gave to others. If someone gave her a gift, she always knew someone who needed it more, and gave it to them. She was very interested in anyone who was studying to be a Deaconess or for the ministry and would write letters of encouragement. With the letter, there would be a little money to help them. Estelle’s prayer life was an example to all. She really talked to God and listened to Him too. The focal point of her life was always her church and the service of the Lord. Her loving and tender Christian witness endeared her to all those with whom she came in contact.
An Atlantic Mission Society bursary honouring her life and work is presented annually.
This biography is from the Atlantic Mission Society website http://ams.pccatlantic.ca/