John W Mackay Council
The Origins and History of the John W Mackay Council
The Council was chartered on August 21,1921 at District 10 in College Point, N Y as attested on the Charter by Father James A Flaherty.
Prior to the founding of the Council the original members were in the Norton Council of Glen Cove, N Y.
The Council was named after the father of Clarence Hungerford Mackay. Clarence was a very wealthy Catholic resident of Roslyn, N Y. His estate comprised all of what is now Harbor Hills and the family employed hundreds of local residents. While Clarence was a major benefactor of Saint Marys Church his wife was protestant and founded Trinity Episcopal Church of Roslyn.
The father, John W, came to America as a boy from Ireland in 1840 and after working in the 1840ís for the Webb Shipping Company [founder of Webb Institute in Glen Cove] went on to California and eventually Nevada where he made his fortune in silver and gold mining. John W Mackay was by the 1880ís the richest man in America. He went on to found the Commercial Cable Co. in 1883 which became ITT. He died in London of heat stroke on July 20,1902.
While the Council was named after the father, he never lived in the Roslyn area. I was unable to find any reference to a direct request from Clarence to the Council regarding the naming of the council, but it appears that either directly or indirectly the Council was named in respect for all that Clarence had done for Saint Marys and the Parish. John W himself was also a great benefactor of Catholic charities and causes. Clarence died on November 12,1938.
The first GK of the John W Mackay Council was John J Radigan.
Much of the above was found in the Historical Room of the Roslyn Library as well as Council Meeting Records.
The Council has been in continuous operation since its founding. At various times in the Council history meetings were held in the Church basement, the Roslyn Fire House and most recently in a basement room of Monsignor Ryan hall. While there are no records of it during the early 20th Century the Council had a building of its own. Mention is made in meeting minutes of unemployed Brothers during the Great Depression being paid to clean the Council Building and mow the lawn. There were earlier references to the search for a suitable property to build on but the final location is never mentioned in the Council meeting minutes.
Over the past ninety years the Council has continuously engaged in many of its charitable and benevolent endeavors as outlined elsewhere on this sight.
Copyright 2012, St. Mary's R.C. Church