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Fred McKay interviewed by Alec Bolton [sound recording]
Bib ID 1163876
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
McKay, Fred, 1907-2000, Interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1988 
10 sound tape reels (ca. 565 min.) ; 10 in. 

Reverend Fred McKay talks about his family background; childhood on farming property, "Crab Hollow", west of Mackay, Qld. and background to his decision on becoming a Minister. He then describes his education at Thornburgh College, Charters Towers and Emmanuel College, Presbyterian University College, Brisbane; meeting John Flynn in 1934 in Southport, Qld. and his decision to follow him and work with Australian Inland Mission (AIM). McKay then reads a selection from a letter written to him by John Flynn in 1935. He then describes his early experiences on patrol in Cloncurry; Alf Traeger and his radio work; 1936 patrol to Birdsville; role of women in the Mission; Flynn's gift of communication; work with Aborigines; pioneering personalities of Flying Doctor Service and Flynn's relationship with the Board in Sydney. McKay then discusses the opening of Birdsville Hospital in 1936? and Dunbar Hospital in Cape York Peninsula in 1938.

He then talks about his early married life; experiences in Western Qld. from 1936-41; WWII and enlistment in militia as a chaplain and his experience of ecumenical chaplaincy work. McKay then provides background to Flynn's isolation from the Board and resignation in 1950 and his death and funeral in 1951 and his own succession as Superintendent. He then recalls his early days as Superintendent including the burning down of Birdsville Hospital; building of John Flynn Church and its opening on May 5, 1955; financial difficulties; opening of Far North Children's Health Scheme Hospital at Warrawee; resignation of Kingsley Partridge and work done in film-making to publicise AIM.

McKay then discusses his involvement with mining companies and other denominations regarding the Pilbara and co-operative work done at Tom Price, Dampier and Karratha; establishment of United Church in Nth Australia; John Flynn's grave and his experiences as Moderator and Moderator General of Presbyterian Church. He then talks about his resignation as Superintendent of AIM and work as Assistant Minister of St. Stephen's Sydney, 1974-80; involvement in establishment of Uniting Church in 1977; association with Sir Robert Menzies and his family; work as an archivist and his achievements in his work with AIM.


Recorded between May 9-13, 1988 in Canberra.

Also available online

Index/Finding Aid Note Transcript available (typescript, 171 leaves) 
Subjects McKay, Fred, 1907-2000 -- Interviews.  |  Flynn, John, 1880-1951.  |  Australian Inland Mission.  |  Missionaries -- Australia -- Interviews.
Occupation Missionaries.
Other authors/contributors Bolton, A. T., 1926-1996, Interviewer

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