By the death last month of Mr. Samuel Peter Mackay, Australia has lost a well-known citizen.
Born in 1864, he came from the good old pioneering type of parents, who originally came from Benmore, Portree, in the Isle of Skye, and settled in Victoria about 1852.
The late Mr. S. P. Mackay was educated at the Mount Gambier (South Australia) Grammar School. Being of an adventurous spirit, he left school at the early age of thirteen years, and commenced his career by accepting a position with a cattle drover, drawing a salary of 10s. per week. After making a few trips he saw that this "profession", had a dead end, so took up surveying. But this did not satisfy his ambition, so in company with his father, the late Mr. Donald Mackay, and two uncles, the late Messrs. Donald McDonald and Roderick Mackay, he shook the soil of the eastern States off his feet, and struck out into the practically unknown north-west of Western Australia, where pearling was engaged in for many years.
Realising that this part of Australia had a wonderful future as a pastoral proposition, the Mackays decided to buy in, which they did by purchasing Mundabullangana Station, situated about fifty miles east of Roebourne, and consisting of over 1,000,000 acres.
By hard work, putting up with much discomfort, and careful saving, the late Mr. S. P. Mackay was in a position to buy out the other members of the company on the death of his father in 1903 and so became sole owner of the station. As years went on he purchased and sold other Western Australian properties, and at the time of his death owned the old original Mundabullangana and Croydon Stations, whilst his son, Keith, owned Balmoral near Onslow.
In 1905 the late Mr. S. P. Mackay, although still retaining his pastoralist interests in Western Australia, returned to Victoria and purchased Melville Park, where he lived until he sold it at the end of 1912. He then resided for many years in Alma-road, St. Kilda. In December last he purchased Rock House Estate, near Kyneton, with the intention of making it a stud horse and cattle farm.
Although the late Mr. Mackay was a well-known pastoralist, he was better known as a breeder and lover of thoroughbred horses, and his colours were a familiar sight on the chief racecourses in Australia.
'Mackay, Samuel Peter (1864–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mackay-samuel-peter-638/text639, accessed 2 March 2015.