Monday, 25 July 2016

Margaret MacKay

Margaret MacKay (1896-1970)
photo: Allan Stearne
Her name is not so familiar these days, but we owe a great debt to Margaret MacKay. She was born in Otautau 120 years ago, the daughter of Ewen Matheson Jr (1868-1950) and granddaughter of Ewen Matheson Sr (1836-1915). These men were instrumental figures in early Otautau - owning a big general store and being members of the Otautau Town Board.

In 1918, Margaret married Bob MacKay and moved to Waikaia. She maintained ties with Otautau, and in her later years, wrote two books: Amanda, published in 1963; and Customers and Green Men, published in 1967.

The latter book is the first of only two books ever written about Otautau. Customers and Green Men is about the people she grew up with in the early 1900s. The book was published when she was 71. Imagine writing a book at that stage of your life. It was a great gift that she gave to the town. Next year will be its 50th anniversary. Margaret passed away in 1970 just three years after it was published.

We recommend this book. It's well-written and fortunately not hard to find - get it at the SDC library and on TradeMe. And say a thanks to Margaret...then maybe think about writing your own.

Note: We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm and by request.

No comments: