Halldis Aslaug Mackie

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 15 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2361
  1. Janet Fricker, Hemel Hempstead
  1. janet.fricker1{at}

Norwegian GP who married into Scottish ice cream dynasty and campaigned against closure of local hospital services

In addition to being a hard working GP in Aberdeenshire who campaigned to save her local hospital, Halldis Mackie was renowned for a remarkable palate. As the matriarch of Scotland’s foremost ice cream making family her flair for identifying the most subtle nuances in flavour undoubtedly proved a valuable asset.

Owing to a shortage of medical schools in her native Norway, Halldis Ramm came to study medicine at Aberdeen University in 1958. Idolised in the student newspaper as “the Viking beauty,” she was crowned the Aberdeen student charities’ queen during her first year. In a student stunt, recorded in the Glasgow Herald, she was kidnapped by 12 rival Dundee students and rescued by the Aberdeen rugby team. The event that derailed her youthful ambition to deliver medical aid to Africa was meeting Maitland Mackie, an entrepreneurial agricultural student who chaired the Aberdeen students’ charities campaign. Their marriage, described at her funeral as “being greater than the sum of its parts,” took place in 1961 at the end of her third year.

For someone who could so easily have chosen a …

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