In perusing the letters one cannot refrain from a spontaneous affection for William. Born and bred to the land he developed a fixity of purpose and loyalty to his family. Such characteristics we often find in those who keep close to the land. Be that as it may, he innately possessed a kindliness and courtesy which endeared him to all throughout his life.
With James and Thomas away he was left to guide and work out the destiny of his father and mother. His duty did not rest lightly upon him and he vainly tried the several expediencies of seeing to their ultimate welfare.
In the early letters, the possibility of the old folks going to New Zealand is only remotely considered. The question of whether they should live in Coshquin or Kilfennan was the problem. William gradually came to the conclusion that there was no use in his staying in Ireland, and with Thomas gone, to whom he was very affectionately disposed, the inducement became stronger.
Then with Kitty leaving he had hopes of going with her. However, as the farms had not been sold he reluctantly saw Kitty go away without him. Only then did he complain of old John's optimism.
News then arrived of the purchase by James of a farm in Auckland for John Macky. This made William's plans easier and no doubt urged John Macky to a decision. Kilfennan was sold to a Mr Glenn and even if Coshquin was not sold John Macky promised William that he should leave by September. One wonders what would have happened if Mr Glenn had died before William left-- as he subsequently did, and the sale fell through.
William left London in the Cashmere on the October 22, 1852. The letter which he bore to Thomas, and the subsequent letters to him from John and Eliza and Dorcas, indicate the gap which he had left behind him.
The voyage was very protracted. The Cashmere just out of the Channel on November 24, when she encountered a heavy gale. Much damage was done-- the bulwarks and boats were smashed. It was necessary to return to Plymouth for repairs, and she left this port on January 17, arriving in Auckland on the May 10 after an uneventful voyage, not calling at any ports.
Here we was welcomed by James and Thomas and one is left to imagine this reunion with Thomas, with whom he had been from boyhood days and ever after, remained on the closest terms.
Night blindness had already shown itself before he left Coshquin but this affliction did not in anyway seem to hinder his activities for many years after he arrived in Auckland.
He first entered the employ of Mr Potter. He often recalled that he was the first man to plough up Potter's Paddock, which is now Alexandra Park. At this time he lived in the little stone house in Manukau Road, almost opposite Green Lane junction.
This occupation he did not follow for long and he was next found in charge of Baird's Wharf at Otahuhu.
In those days the surrounding district supplied the produce of Auckland District and the means of transport was by water down the Tamaki to Auckland and elsewhere. He owned a cutter for this purpose and it is now surprising to learn of the amount of goods in the shape of produce, bricks, tiles etc which left this spot. In the days of the Thames Gold Rush activity was at its greatest.
During this period he was commissioned to go to Tauranga to demonstrate the use of the plough to the natives. He was accompanied on this occasion by Joseph Cochrane. They travelled in his cutter. From there they went to the northern mission stations on the same errand.
On August 26, 1860 he married Anne Goodfellow. She was the daughter of William Goodfellow who had arrived in New Zealand in 1840. The Goodfellow family came from Scotland in the Palmyra as far as Sydney. This was the vessel in which Dr John Logan Campbell was ship's doctor. William Goodfellow came across to New Zealand, landing at Wellington. He walked from there to Auckland in time for the first land sale.
William was treasurer of the Otara church for some years. He also took a keen interest in the Mutual Improvement Society at which the late William Massey gained his first encouragement in public speaking.
In 1873 he purchased his property at Paterangi but employed Mr Ryburn as manager until he took possession himself. He left Otahuhu on the March 2, 1875, travelling in a spring cart, with old Jerry in the shafts. (This was an old white horse which the writer saw as a pensioner on the farm in 1897). His first stop was at Samuel Baird's farm at Ramarama and the next at Huntly. From this date he settled down to make his home which is now the property of his son, S C Macky.
The onset of his blindness now became more pronounced. Still there seems to have been no indication of a submission to this obvious drawback to ordinary life. He was chairman of the school committee, was instrumental in starting a Mutual Improvement Society and always took a keen interest in the church.
The dairy company, of which he was a trustee, was one of the first in the Waikato to make cheddar cheese. It is also noteworthy that he was the first person in the Waikato to grow turnips.
For the members of the family, other than his own children, the most vivid memory is the genuine hospitality with which he and his wife Anne imbued their home. In itself a large family it was never too large to take some other relatives. There was always someone or other of the Auckland families in the house as guest. In his complete blindness in his latter days, he still had his jobs. All the firing and water was supplied to the house. As a child the writer can well remember being told by this blind old man to keep clear of the well whilst he drew the water.
As the patriarch of the district concerns of all who came to consult him were considered and advised upon by one whom his visitors deeply respected and revered. To the end he maintained an unflagging interest in politics and the affairs of the district.
Having a strong sense of humour he loved nothing better than a good joke, and it was he who created that excellent remark about another William Macky.
At the ripe old age of 75 he departed this life on the November 13, 1905.
He was survived by his wife Anne and their ten children.
Anne removed to a new home in Golf Road, Auckland, where she lived the remainder of her active life. She died at the age of 88, on December 6, 1926. Bright and alert to the end of her days, she was a stirring example of her generation, of which she was the last. Her life was a great achievement. As the wife of a pioneer farmer, with all the attendant hardships, Anne carried through life a cheeriness and efficiency which were indeed admirable. Her kindliness in the home must still be a cherished memory of many of the family.