On 12thOctober, 1936, when everyone was busy celebrating Christopher Columbus Day, hismother, Susan Knowles was busy giving birth to her second son, whom they namedThomas Mackey, after his father. Hisolder brother and father would have been awaiting the news of his birth. As these two brothers were growing up, they didwhatever they could have done to assist in supporting themselves and theirmother. After Thomas graduated from the Southern Senior School, he began tohone his skills and became an excellent mechanic.
‘Grampy’as he was affectionately called, was attracted to vehicles. His first means of transportation was abicycle, a Rudge – three speeder. He pursued the trade of a Mechanic and begana career of maintaining and repairing vehicles. One of his early place ofemployment was with Mr. Robin Basker at Lucane Garage on West Bay Street. Hebecame a clever mechanic and was careful in doing his very best, hence healways had a job.
Back in those days, there were very little jobs onthe islands, besides farming and fishing. Theislanders learnt very early that diversification was necessary for survival. The women were very active in the straw businessand was doing a great job. They wouldprepare their straw items, packed up their wares and travel to New Providence,where they would and sell their merchandise in the Straw Market and purchase the necessitiesto take back to the islands.
Itwas on one of these trips that Grampy met and fell in love with the love of hislife, Eleanor, who predeceased him 12 years ago. After three consecutive trips to the Nassau‘Grampy’ wrote his ‘letter of intent’ to her father and was happy to have receivedhis approval. They kept in touch with each other, then on 28thOctober, 1959, they were joined in holy matrimony at St. Barnabas AnglicanChurch.
Aboutfour to five years later, when many of the young men were traveling to the ‘Contract’in the United States, Grampy was very curious and made plans to travel to theUSA . He left his family and traveled tothe United States; He stayed on the Contract for (6) months. He knew verylittle about farming and harvesting. Actually, things got so bad for him, they allowed him to drive the watertruck. He then realized that he was nofield boy. Unable to take it any longer, he wrote a letter to the Contract Managerstating that his wife was very ill and he needed to go home. He also sent a letter with instructions tohis wife to write a letter to the Manager telling the Manager that she was veryill and needs her husband to be with her. They accepted his request and Grampy returned home on honorabledischarge, without breaking his ‘contract’ He never went back to the ‘Contract’again! No never!
Onhis return home, he went back to hismechanic jobs to support his family and later in 1963 gained full employment withthe Nassau Ready Mixed Concrete Company, and remained there until he retired in2007. He had the opportunity to ‘pour concrete’ for many major jobs. There were some jobs where he would be thechosen one to deliver the concrete. He would share with us the numerous buildingsfor which he transported concrete….. He was very proud of his job and to knowthat he had a role to play in many of these outstanding buildings in New Providence. If we wereriding somewhere, he would say, “I poured concrete for this building you know” andthen he would go on to tell the entire story. This big mixer truck was hishumongous toy; If he ever had to stop by home on any given day, for whateverreason, the entire neighborhood would know that he was in the community. He enjoyed honking that special, distinct,loud horn.
AfterGrampy’s retirement, we noted his commitment to church, hence his closer walkwith his Lord. He became very active in church and was very active. Later heexperienced problems with his legs and then later on his sight. In 2021, ‘Grampy’shealth began to decline, which is not uncommon as you get older. However, he began having other problems. Thenhe was diagnosed with early stage throatcancer. ‘Grampy you were a good trooperto the very end’
Grampy,we can proudly say that you were in good hands while on your sick bed. It wassad to see you go, but we know that you are in a better place. You preparedyourself to go to heaven whenever the Lord was ready for you. But while youwatched and waited, you were blessed to have your second daughter Deloris whois a retired nursing officer, who also served as caregiver along with the hiredcaregiver. You had your granddaughtersNurse Rashae and Dr. Rodeina who were there to make sure that all was well withyou. They were so proud to take care of you. Actually, your children andgrandchildren set up a time schedule to ensure that someone wasalways there with you. What a blessing! Praise the Lord!
Oneof your favorite Scriptures was Psalm 23. Yes! From this scripture you were notonly assured, but you experienced it. Goodness and mercy followed you all thedays of your life as you abide in his presence.
Likethe Apostle Paul, You can say that you have fought a good fight, you finishedyour course, you kept the faith and now, you await your crown of righteousness.
(deduced from 2Timothy 4:7-8)
THOMAS A. MACKEY - HIS LEGACY
Thomas Mackey’s legacy and fond memories willforever live on in:
His Children: Dr. Rovena& Dr. Franklin Ferguson, Retired Nursing Officer Elizabeth & AllanKnowles, Patrice Maynard, Deborah & Anthony Neilly, Rosenell & RandySmith and Perry Mackey.
“Adopted Children” JanetJohnson and Andre & Clarice Hamilton
Grandchildren: Dr. Romeika & Dr. Zhivago Adderley, FransonFerguson, Farreno & Ianthia Ferguson, Dr. Rodeina & Jason Cooper,Matthew & Nyrandra Romer, Christopher, Pierre & Shaniqua, ChrystolynMaynard, Anthony II & Khadijha Neilly, Anwar, Ahkeem and Anthonique Neilly,Rannell and R.N Rashae Smith; Brian, Mario & Deidre Mackey , Lisa Williams,Kandice Neilly, Gary & Dexter Munnings.
Great Grandchildren: Rhaimee& Jirehson Adderley, Faren Ferguson, Charity, David and Pierson Maynard,Caydyn Adderley, Matthew II & Noah Romer and Priya Forbes;
Brother: Leroy Mackey
Sisters-in-law: Rhona Davis,Valerie Tony and their families
Brothers-in-law: JacobRolle, Randolph & Pamela Rolle and their families
Numerous Nieces & Nephewsand cousins including; Dorothy & Nyoka Davis, Sandra Davis-Rolle,Barbara Davis-Thompson, Anya Davis-Claude, Monique Martin & Lauralyn Smith,Nicola Tonny & Lynette Smith, Janet Swann, Caliope Bootle, Penelope Mackeyand Marva Nelson, Glenn, Mario, Tyronne, Deon, Barry & Larry Davis &Aubyn Tonny & Patrick Brennen, Theodore & Rodwell Martin, Rudymae &Judymae Rolle, Paul Rolle, Carolyn Rigby, Rev. Francina Thompson, DeaconessCassandra Evans, Alrick, Anthony, Evangelist Andrew Mackey, Ian (Columbo)Nicholson, Wayde Swann, Elvis, Kenji, Vernon and Shawn Mackey.
Cousin: Naomi Williams
The Bali Avenue Neighborsincluding: Freddie McKenzie, Vernita Roache, Mrs. Stuart and others
Other Relatives and friendsincluding Paul Maynard & the Albury family, Perron Forbes, Mrs. HelenStuart & Family, Mrs. Joy Swain, Ms. Portia Williams, Mr. Perry Forbes, Mr.Stout (The Barbara) Missick, Ms. Barbara Dorsett, Pamela Hunt, Helen Thompson,All Saints ACM & ACW, St. Margarets Anglican members Exuma, Mrs. DoraleeRoache, Elma Knowles, Staff of BTC, Attorney General Office, Warwick Resort,Ready Mix Concrete and A.F. Adderley High School – Class of 1979.
Caregiver: Patrice Harrison
Clergy: Fr. Bradley Miller, Fr. Sebastian Campbell, Fr. B. J Smith,Rev. Chitan Thompson and members of the All-Saints Anglican Church, BishopHulan A Hanna and members of the COGOP, East Street Tabernacle, Pastor andmembers of Ministry International, Prophetess Shameka Morley and members ofAnointed to Reign Kingdom Ministries.