Dr Roddie, as he is known in the community, practiced medicine in St Peters Bay for an astonishing 69 years. In his time, he was recognized as “Doctor of the Century” and “Dean of Canada’s Physicians” by the Canadian Medical Association. He was granted a Papal Knighthood by Pope Pius XII, and is the only known Islander to be a subject for the legendary portrait photographer Yousef Karsh.
Born in 1858, Dr MacDonald passed away at the age of 103, having practiced medicine from the front room of his house. He received his medical degree when he was 30 years old, and practiced until he hit the century mark (and maybe a bit past that). The community is full of stories about Dr Roddie making house calls through the worst weather that the Bay can offer, abandoning his horse and sleigh and climbing through and over snowbanks in the midst of a blizzard to reach his patients. He himself estimated that he helped deliver 4,000 babies through his career.
The community of St Peters Bay has named its community centre after the legendary doctor. Dr. MacDonald’s house remains a centrepoint of the community, having undergone a full renovation in the early 2000’s. It has been formally recognized as a Registered Historic Place in Prince Edward Island.