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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Bob" Robert MACKIE

Born 1 July 1888 in Carnbee, Fife, Scotland [28]
Son of ploughman John MACKIE and Ann ANDERSON [28]
He grew up in Saint Andrews, Fife, Scotland [81: 22-Oct-1950]
He was one of at least nine children with siblings Alexander, George, Isabella, John, Jane, James, Annie and Andrew [20]
After arriving in Western Australia in 1910 he worked at a garage [81: 22-Oct-1950] [225: 10-Jan-1936]
Applied to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War but was rejected as medically unfit [81: 22-Oct-1950]
He emptied his savings into buying a T-Model Ford car and worked as a taxi driver from the taxi rank at Midland Junction [81]
During the war he drove soldiers from the railway station at Midland Junction to the military training camp at Blackboy Hill [81]
He purchased additional cars to work as taxis as his business rapidly grew, finishing up with a dozen cars [81: 22-Oct-1950]
It was later reported that at the end of the war he "decided there was more money in selling cars than in buying them" [81: 22-Oct-1950]
Salesman for the Skipper Bailey Motor Company, selling cars and trucks as far north as Geraldton [81: 22-Oct-1950]
     In 1924 he was one of their travelling salesman and sold Chevrolet and Oakland cars and G.M.C. trucks [86: 28-Jun-1924]
     He based himself partly in Carnamah and was listed as a Motor Mechanic in Carnamah in postal directories from 1919 to 1928 [6]
     His address on the Commonwealth electoral roll in 1922 and 1925 was Buckingham Farm in Carnamah [50]
He purchased multiple blocks of land in the Carnamah townsite, and was involved in the building of houses, shops and the hotel [P1]
Proprietor of Mackie Motors Limited in Kalgoorlie 1933-1935 [225: 10-Jan-1936]
Founder and Managing Director of Automobile Limited on Hay Street in Perth in 1936, which sold Nash cars [225: 10-Jan-1936]
Purchased a half-share in Mount Remarkable Station near Kookynie and in 1938 acquired Madura Station [81: 22-Oct-1950]
     Madura was a cattle station which initially did well but after four years of drought he diversified into providing accommodation [81]
     In October 1950 he was granted the first wayside license for a motel in Australia and became Australia's first motelkeeper [81]
Donated £1/1/- to the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in 1919 [124]
On 27 July 1920 purchased from the Midland Railway Company two vacant quarter acre townsite blocks in Carnamah [27]
     The two blocks were 18 Boojerabba Street and 30 Boojerabba Street (respectively Lots 66 and 60 of Victoria Location 1936) [27]
     Together the blocks cost £22 payable by instalments over 18 months, however the Company rescinded the sale in January 1921 [27]
     18 Boojerabba Street was resold to Edgar J. CLARK in 1921 and 30 Boojerabba Street to W. Lawrence PONTON in 1923 [27]
He was the Mackie partner of "Mackie, Davies & McNamara" who had the Carnamah Hotel built in 1923 [51]
     Along with Mrs Martha L. J. DAVIES and Mrs Lillian E. MCNAMARA he was the joint freehold owner of the hotel [61]
     In 1927 sold out his share to the other two partners in the Carnamah Hotel at 22 Macpherson Street, Carnamah [81: 15-Jan-1928]
     He took Mrs Lillian E. MCNAMARA and the estate of Mrs Martha L. J. DAVIES to court in April 1929 [39: 8-Apr-1929, 14-May-1929]
     Took his former partners, previously trading as the Carnamah Hotel Company, to court for £1,339 for monies lent and interest [39]
During early 1925, when most still used horses, he gave a wheat carting demonstration using his Chevrolet truck [9: 23-Jan-1925]
     In 39 hours he carted 1,500 bags of wheat from John BOWMAN's Home Farm to the railway siding in Carnamah [9]
     This was a distance of four and a half miles and used under 21 gallons of petrol and two quarts of oil [9]
     The demonstration resulted in "great interest" locally and was reported to have created a good reputation for the Chev truck [9]
     His Chevrolet truck was licensed with the Carnamah District Road Board and contained number plate CA-139 [325]
Helped gather donations in 1925 to go towards improving the road over the sandplain between Watheroo and Carnamah [9: 17-Apr-1925]
He owned a weatherboard house opposite the railway station in Carnamah, which he offered for sale in September 1925 [9: 4-Sep-1925]
     The address given for offers to purchase his house in Carnamah was 900 Hay Street, Perth [9: 4-Sep-1925]
Representative for Chrysler cars in 1927 and sold Chrysler vehicles between Carnamah and Geraldton [4: 11-Jun-1927]
     Vice President of the Carnamah Tennis Club in 1927-28 [39: 25-Oct-1927]
     In 1927 donated the clock for the entrance to the Carnamah District Road Board's Offices and Hall [4: 11-Jun-1927]
     Advertised in June 1927 that he wanted to buy sheep, cattle or pigs and that no number was too large or small [4: 18-Jun-1927]
     Member of the Carnamah Race Club in 1927 and 1928 - was Vice President in 1927 [9: 8-Apr-1927] [4: 31-Mar-1928]
     In 1927 donated a trophy to the Carnamah Rifle Club which was known as the "Mackie Trophy" [9: 19-Aug-1927]
     Vice President of the Picnic Race Meeting held in Three Springs on Saint Patrick's Day Saturday 17 March 1928 [124]
     In November 1928 it was reported he had recently had a new building erected in Macpherson Street, Carnamah [4: 17-Nov-1928]
     It was reported that the building was to be leased to John J. BREBNER as a general store [4: 17-Nov-1928]
Resided at the Melbourne Hotel in Perth in 1929 [4: 12-Oct-1929]
     He advertised in October 1929 that he would have a shop to let or lease in Macpherson Street, Carnamah [4: 12 & 26-Oct-1929]
     The shop, which was yet to be built, was to be built to suit the tenant and would be ready by the end of December 1929 [4]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son from the 1920s to the 1940s [53]
Throughout the 1930s he is believed to have resided away from Carnamah however appears to have returned on regular visits [3] [5]
In 1930 had constructed shops at 19 Macpherson Street, Carnamah and a row of houses in Caron Street, Carnamah [4: 1-Nov-1930]
     The three shops were contained within one building at 19 Macpherson Street and were known as "Mackie's Buildings" [51] [P4]
     Initially leased the shops to John KENNY (billiard saloon), Frank ANDONS (general store) and Michael Clune (butcher) [3]
     In February 1934 added a cantilever verandah to his premises known Mackie's Buildings [5: 23-Feb-1934]
The garages and laundries of two of his four houses in Caron Street were totally destroyed by fire on 26 May 1930 [4: 31-May-1930]
     A fire was believed to have started from one of the coppers with part of each house also partially damaged [4]
     The two houses which were damaged were in 1930 occupied by C. W. Homer GETHING and Robert F. BICKERDIKE [4]
He visited Carnamah in early September 1930 during which time he painted his house in Caron Street [4: 6-Sep-1930]
     A week or so later he left Carnamah on a visit to Geraldton for a few days before returning to Perth [4: 13-Sep-1930]
In 1931 and 1932 employed Edward HELLEWELL as caretaker of his properties in Carnamah [4: 24-Sep-1932]
     In March 1931 his caretaker Edward advertised his house in Caron Street, Carnamah up for let or for rent [4]
     It was a seven room house with wash house, troughs, verandahs, electric laid, water laid on, shower bath and garage [4: 28-Mar-1931]
He was the owner of a Chrysler car licensed with the Carnamah District Road Board with number plate CA-100 in 1932 [4: 12-Nov-1932]
In 1932 purchased from L. Scott WYLIE another shop and garage at 17 Macpherson Street in Carnamah [3]
     At a cost of £1,000 rebuilt the shop purchased from L. Scott WYLIE and built another store in Carnamah [5: 16-Dec-1932]
     The shop was leased by Stanley L. HIDDEN who ran an agency business and resided at the premises [5: 19-Aug-1932] [4: 15-Dec-1934]
Resided in Carnamah in July and August of 1932 while he renovated and painted his local shop and other properties [5: 26-Aug-1932]
     In 1932 did renovations, building and gardening to his premises in Carnamah and in doing so helped unemployed men [5: 23-Sep-1932]
     During his two months sojourn in Carnamah in 1932 he also sold a number of cars to local residents [5: 26-Aug-1932] [4: 16-Jul-1932]
     Prize donor and one of the costume judges at the Children's Fancy Dress Ball held in Carnamah on 18 August 1932 [5: 26-Aug-1932]
After about two months in Carnamah he left in August 1932 to spend a few days in Perth [5: 26-Aug-1932]
     From Perth he proceeded to his sheep station Mount Remarkable at Kooknyie in the Leonora district [5: 26-Aug-1932]
     After shearing was completed at his sheep station he intended visiting Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart [5]
     It was reported on 14/10/1932: "Robert Mackie of Carnamah will leave Perth for the Eastern States on Saturday next" [5: 14-Oct-1932]
His garage at 17 Macpherson Street was leased to Harry ZUEGG 1932-1933 [P87] and then to Ivan JOHNSON 1933-1937 [P9] [P28]
Also had a small store between where HIDDEN was and Mackie's Buildings, which was also leased by Ivan JOHNSON [4: 15-Dec-1934]
For all or some of the building work done of his shops in Carnamah he employed the services of Eric J. CLARKE of Guildford [51]
He was listed as "of Carnamah" when he launched the "Road Planning Competition" in September 1932 [5: 16-Sep-1932]
     The competition appeared in several additions of The Carnamah-Three Springs Times newspaper [5: 28-Oct-1932, 11-Nov-1932]
     Prizes of £3/3/- and £2/2/- were given by him for the two best plans of a road/route from Carnamah to Five Gums [5: 16-Sep-1932]
     The competition was open to students of the Carnamah and Inering state schools [5: 16-Sep-1932]
     Entry of any plan had to be accompanied by four coupons from The Carnamah-Three Springs Times newspaper [5: 16-Sep-1932]
     He conducted the competition to draw attention to the urgent need for a more direct road between Carnamah and Five Gums [5]
     The competition was finalised in December 1932 with first prize being won by Miss Isabel D. FORRESTER [4: 31-Dec-1932]
In late 1932 took up a Conditional Purchase lease for 1,651 acres of farmland in Carnamah previously held by Edmund K. WELLS [3]
     The land consisted of Victoria Locations 3319, 6919 and 7075 on the Yarra Yarra Estate and near the Mulliah / Yarra Yarra Lakes [3]
     In late 1933 the Conditional Purchase lease was forfeited, and the next year re-taken up by J. Clyde HAIG [3] [5: 2-Feb-1934]
In September 1932 intended to take a trip to England and offered all of his property in Carnamah for sale or exchange [4: 17-Sep-1932]
    He was willing to exchange his property in Carnamah for properties in Perth and Geraldton [4: 17-Sep-1932]
    Any exchange or sale was subject to the new owners maintaining the existing leases of the properties [4: 17-Sep-1932]
    The property consisted of a garage, four houses in Caron Street and four shops in Macpherson Street [4: 24-Sep-1932]
    He was willing to sell all of the mentioned property in Carnamah for £8,300, however appears to have retained ownership [3] [4]
Donated a trophy for the Cattle section of the Carnamah Agricultural Society's Annual Shows in 1934 and 1935 [5: 27-Jul-1934, 20-Sep-1935]
At about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday 9 December 1934 a fire broke out in his premises in Carnamah occupied by Stanley L. HIDDEN [5]
     The night was warm and the wood and iron building with a brick frontage was soon ablaze and subsequently burnt to the ground [5]
     The fire also destroyed the adjoining premises occupied by Ivan JOHNSON's Carnamah Accessory & Agency Company [5]
     Before being extinguished the fire spread and caused some damage to a wall and the rafters of his Mackie's Buildings [5: 14-Dec-1934]
     At the time of the fire the first two shops of Mackie's Buildings were leased by John A. KENNY and William D. COLE respectively [5]
     The third shop at the east end of Mackie's Buildings was vacant and was used temporarily by John KENNY after the fire [5]
Donated ten guineas to the Carnamah Girls Club's for their Children's Christmas Tree in December 1934 [4: 29-Dec-1934]
In 1936 William D. COLE's Carnamah Cash Supply Store expanded to use two of the shops in Mackie's Buildings [5: 29-May-1936]
In April 1937 donated £10/10/- to the Carnamah Girls Club for the Children's Christmas Tree Fund [5: 9-Apr-1937]
Forwarded a cheque for £10/10/- to Angus A. N. MCGILP for the Christmas Trees in Coorow and Waddy Forest in 1937 [5: 30-Apr-1937]
Vice President of the Carnamah Football Club in 1937 [5: 16-Apr-1937]
Visited the North Midlands during the second week of May 1937 and was reported as "the well known car salesman" [5: 14-May-1937]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1937 - also donated £5/5/- to the Society in 1937 [13]
Began leasing his garage premises in Carnamah to William A. HEINZ in 1937, and sold them to him on 21 December 1948 [3] [51]
He and "Bill" William A. HEINZ motored to Perth on 13 September 1937, and returned to Carnamah two days later [5: 17-Sep-1937]
In 1937 thoroughly renovated his four houses in Caron Street - including each having its own garage and rainwater tank [0: image 03705]
     Towards the end of 1937 put his houses and vacant land in Caron Street, Carnamah up for sale [0: image 03705]
     Also put up for sale vacant land at 17 Macpherson Street (which had housed the two shops that burnt down in 1934) [5]
     As had happened in the past he never ended up selling the properties and retained ownership [3]
He was said to have a been a "big wig" in Carnamah and had a lot to do with Carnamah's buildings and businesses [P6]
During the 1920s and 1930s he was also the owner of blocks of land in the Mingenew townsite [44]
He was living at 36 Dalkeith Road in the Perth suburb of Nedlands in 1940 [61]
Sold his house at 18 Caron Street in Carnamah to Frederick R. BEBBINGTON in 1950 [3]
Sold his vacant block at 27 Caron Street and three houses at numbers 21, 23 & 25 Caron Street to Maurice S. B. AUNGER in 1950 [3]
In 1951 sold Mackie's Buildings at 19 Macpherson Street in Carnamah to the North Midlands Farmers' Cooperative Company Ltd [3]
Resided of late in Perth [2]
Died 5 April 1952; buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Presbyterian, KA, 535) [2]

From The West Australian newspaper, Monday 7 April 1952:
Man Dies in King's Park
"The body of a man who was found dead in King's Park on Saturday morning has been identified as Robert Mackie (64), of Adelaide-terrace, Perth. The body was discovered by children. A retired business man, Mr Mackie was formerly the owner of Madura pastoral station on Eyre-highway. There was nothing on the body to indicate the man's identity."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Robert Mackie' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 July 2024 from [reference list]

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