Mrs Mackey celebrates 100 years of faith and charity
On 25 April, Mrs Patricia Mackey (nee Barnes), will celebrate her centenarian milestone in her home at Resthaven Marion Retirement Living, as she reflects on a ‘life worth living.’
Born and raised in the rural township of Rainbow, northwest Victoria, in 1923, Mrs Mackey grew accustomed to farm life on 640 acres.
Mrs Mackey says, ‘We had draught horses, cows, poultry, a few sheep, and two working sheep dogs, Ruff and Pup, who we treated as pets.’
‘My parents had their hands full with the five of us, but we all did our bit, milking the cows, making butter, bread, and slaughtering the sheep for meat. For income, we took the cream five miles into town to the butter factory, which served us well.’
‘We coped with it all: dust storms, mice and rabbit plagues, incessant flies, and the heat. Despite all that, I thought it was great fun.’
Mrs Mackey attended Rainbow East Primary School, before moving to Adelaide, where she attended Woodville High School.
‘When I was 14, I moved in with my grandfather and aunt who both lived in Adelaide. I was there for a year, and I loved it. My grandfather soon passed, however, and the Great Depression hit, which saw me going back home to the farm.’
At 17 years of age, Mrs Mackey was able to return to city life in Adelaide, sparking her life-long journey of charitable work.
‘My Aunty May, who was matron at Lentara [Magill Methodist Boys Home], needed my help at the home with kitchen and domestic duties. I ended up staying there for the next five years, essentially growing up alongside the 30 boys who were there—we built a special bond, which has lasted all these years.’
‘The boys ended up there due to either their fathers serving in the war (WWII), or their parents simply couldn’t cope looking after them. To this day, I keep in touch with them, and in recent years, have attended several reunions through the Wesley Uniting Church.’
Following on from Mrs Mackey’s passion for helping others, she found a place to live on Wakefield Street, as she worked at the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
‘I was there for a few years working in the office and speaking to the children. Charity has remained a strong part of who I am.’
On 23 December 1947, at the age of 24, Patricia became Mrs Mackey, wedding her husband at the Maughan Church in Adelaide.
‘I became a stay-at-home mother, raising three sons, Allan, David and Bevan, and an adopted daughter, Doreen. When the children were in secondary school, I found work as a hand sewer for a bookbinder, which I quite enjoyed.’
After retiring, Mrs Mackey kept busy supporting the Country Women’s Association, and volunteering at the Repatriation General Hospital for 20 years.
‘Now, I like to knit socks and beanies for the homeless that I donate to charity, and I remain active in the Resthaven community. There is always a way to give back.’
As Mrs Mackey celebrates her centenarian milestone, she shares, ‘It is important to keep your faith, and to look on the bright side of life.’
‘Just being able to help others means everything to me, and if you can do it, you should. It makes life worth living.’
Many happy returns, Mrs Mackey!