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At the meeting of the Auckland Presbytery yesterday, the Rev. John Macky announced his retirement from the active duties of the ministry, retaining, however, his position in the courts of the church. This event marks an epoch in the history of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, for lie was one of the fathers of the Church, and since the retirement of the Rev. D. Bruce has been the acknowledged father of the Auckland Presbytery. A few .words as to the career of this veteran in the ministry will no doubt be of general interest on an occasion of this sort, and all will join in the wish that his fine venerable figure may long continue to grace the meotings of the Presbytery and the General Assembly of the Church, in both of which courts his gentle manners and wise counsels have endeared him to his ministerial and l:»y brethren.

The Rev. John Mackv, prior to_ leaving Ireland for New Zealand, was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, near Londonderry, and he left his-charge to come to New Zealand on the strong recommendation of his brother, Mr. James J. Macky, who preceded him. He arrived in Auckland by the ship Cashmere, Captain Pearson, in August, 1854, accompanied by his father, mother, wife, and sister, and amongst their fellowpassengers wore Mrs. Alexander and her two sons, one of whom—then a boy—is now the well-known solicitor, Mr. J. M. Alexander. Mrs. Alexander was a sister-in-law of the Rev. J. Macky. When the Rev. Mr. Maeky arrived in Auckland, the Presbyterian Church was a.rery small one, the only congregation being that of St. Andrew s, of which the Rov. D. Bruce, who had arrived in Auckland a short tune before Mr. Macky, was pastor. * The first thing the Rev. Mr. Macky did was to establish a church at Otahuhu, and he commenced holding services at Mr. Baird's store, at Otahuhu wharf. Through his exertions, a grant of £100 a-year was obtained from the Irish Presbyterian Church to supplement the pay of the pastor of the church. Subsequently, as the requirements of the place increased, Mr. Thomas Baird gave as a-gift the site at Otara on which the church and school now stands, and subsequently this handsome gift was after Mr. T. Bairds death suppleplemented by another gift from Mr. S. C. Baird of a site for a manse and cemetery. Mr. Macky had then no manse, but he had a fine dwelling and farm at Papatoetoe, where he continued to reside for about 20 years until the manso was erected, and he moved into it with his family in 1872. The Rev. Mr. Macky's life at this time was a very activo one. He did not confine his attention to Otahuhu and Papatoetoe alono. For a period of at least 25 years he continued to hold regular services and preach at Mangere, Tamaki, and Howick, and this work he accomplished i< under exceptional difficulties. Those who are acquainted with the Rev. Mr. Maeky duriug late years are aware that his sight is very dim. Even at that time it was not of the best, and he could hardly see at all after sunset. People used to wonder how he managed to find his way home from Howick and Mangere when he could not see the road, but Mr. J. J. Macky givea the explanation. He presented his rev. brother with a horse named Jack on his arrival, and this' faithful old animal carried the Rev. Mr. Macky, in safety for many years, finding his own way instinctively, and never missing it, although the roads at that time were not what they are now. , ■'■ ■ ' "[ '"- , ..■: ' .:;,:

: I- The Rev. /, Mr. i Macky's family is remarkable for longevity. ;= His father, who accompany him to Auckland was about 70 years of age when he left. Ireland and lived here for 16 years, dying at the.ripe old age of 86, and hie mother at the time her death was about , £$ years, of age. Bothburied in the Ofcara

Cemetery, but the whole of their family, of four sons and one daughter remains an unbroken family. Mr. J. J, Wacky, the eldest brother, and the pioneer oi the family in New Zealand, is in. business on ."change. Messrs. Thomas Macky and William Macky are well-known Auckland citizens, tbe Rev. John Macky, the respected minister who is the subject of this notice, is still, we are glad to say, hale and hearty; although he has decided to take some of that rest to which his past labours entitle him, while the only sister is Mrs. Robert Hall, she being the youngest of the family. The Rev. Mr. Mack/s wife, who was a sister of the late Mr. S. Cochrane, has been dead for some years, after rearing a family of three sons and three daughters, all of whom are living. One daughter is married to Mr. ShUliugton, surveyor, formerly of Auckland, but now stationed near Portadown, in the North of Ireland. Another is married to the Rev. Mr. Steele, who for some time past has been assistant pastor in the Otahmhu charge, and the youngest daughter is Mrs. Overton, of Canterbury. The sons are Mr. Samuel C. Macky, Mr. John Macky, employed in the Board of Education office, and Mr. Joseph James Macky, who resides in Ponsonby. The Rev. Mr. Macky was born in the year 1820, and i 3 consequently now 69 years of age.

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Bibliographic details

THE REV. JOHN MACKY., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 9539, 4 December 1889

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THE REV. JOHN MACKY. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 9539, 4 December 1889