MacQuarrie Gift

Written by Christena Copeland

Health research is critical to the development of cures, the improvement of treatment, and the prevention of disease. The research supported through philanthropic gifts to DMRF are at the forefront of medical research revolution. Behind every great discovery, there are many people who have worked tirelessly, dedicated to breaking through existing boundaries and acquiring knowledge that will change the world. This work is possible in large part through the generosity of our donors.

I know all too well that when a loved one suffers we want to help them heal. We are often left to feel helpless in the face of horrible diseases. Supporting medical research provides us a way to take control and help many. At 44 my father suffered a stroke and at 65, a heart attack. Without medical research, I would not have him in my life today.

I am very proud to have worked with the MacQuarries to start this fund for Neuroscience research in Mr. MacQuarrie’s honour. I am deeply moved by their endeavour to help many people in his good name. Health Research really does matter. ~Joanne Bath, Director of Development


The love and kinship that develops from a deep family connection is beautifully seen when you meet the MacQuarries. For decades, this family has lived in their beloved community of Truro Nova Scotia, nurturing and growing a business that has flourished throughout the province. On this day, several members of the MacQuarrie family gathered to discuss their commitment to our Foundation, as well as the DMRF Malcolm MacQuarrie Endowed Fund for Neuroscience, created in loving memory of Malcom MacQuarrie; brother, husband, father, and revered member of the community. In May of 2014, Malcom passed away after living gently and bravely with dementia for several years. 

Malcolm’s son Charles, a Dalhousie University alumni and member of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation Board, passionately believes in the importance of medical research. He spoke proudly of the fund created in his father’s honour saying, “Having experienced the change in my dad with his dementia and knowing there was neuroscience research happening right here in our community made it an easy decision to create a fund in his honour. Research adds value to the community and the future health of all of us”. Already, the MacQuarrie family has pledged over $200,000 to the fund.

The connections to health and wellness run deep for the MacQuarrie family. Malcolm himself graduated from Dalhousie University in 1951 with a degree in Pharmacology.  He proudly operated the family’s drug store business, growing it into a multi-store group across Nova Scotia. In 1987 he helped to found Pharmasave in Atlantic Canada. To this day, the family is a solid force in their community, caring deeply for their friends and neighbours.

Malcolm’s sister Dorothy Harrity had a close and loving relationship with her brother, one she cherishes vividly to this day. Having worked in neurology in the past, she was all too familiar with the challenges those suffering from dementia and their loved ones must face. In her mind, it only made sense that the family create a fund that would help find treatments and eventually a cure for this condition that affects over 17,000 Nova Scotians. 

“Malcom was my one and only brother,” says Dorothy. “So that’s the world. He was a good citizen, a good business person, and just a kind man who was thoughtful and interested in people.” While it was difficult to watch her brother experience dementia, Dorothy was comforted by the support they received from their community, as well as the dedication shown by Malcolm’s wife of sixty-one years, Charlotte.    

“For the first while Malcolm was able to go out and enjoy a variety of activities with the family and outside in the community,” recalls Charlotte. “However, for the last two years he deteriorated to the point where he withdrew from going out. It was a gradual change, so we were able to adapt along with him. Up until the end, Malcolm was so gentle and easy to look after, but eventually he lost his ability to speak and care for himself”. All too commonly, like Malcolm, those living with dementia face a loss of memory, cognition, and independence. 

It is expected that by 2038, rates of dementia will double in Nova Scotia. If new preventative measures or treatments are not found, by 2030, over 47.5 million people worldwide are expected to suffer from some form of this disease – that’s larger than the entire population of Canada. Thanks to the compassionate generosity of people like the MacQuarrie family, whose love for Malcolm and their community is a constant, we are that much closer to helping researchers find answers to debilitating neurological disorders like dementia.

If you would like to contribute to this fund or support some other area of medical research please contact Joanne Bath at 902-471-7032.