The Church of St Nicholas in the idyllic village of Cublington in Buckinghamshire would probably not have seen such a packed congregation in the whole of its 600-year history as it did on 30 August, 2017 for a celebration of the life of Niall Mackay, who passed away just eight days earlier. So many friends and colleagues, some having travelled half the globe to be there, gathered in mutual sadness and respect to honour the passing of a true gentleman.
Niall had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of July. He started his career in the moving industry with Giltspur Bullens in 1975 where he became operations manager. In 1980, he left the company to join Amertrans, also as operations manager where he remained until 1982.
In 1983, Niall joined Michael Gerson Ltd as an account manager at the head office in Whetstone; in 1995, he took-up the vacant position of manager of the Daventry branch.
In 2002 Niall was part of the management team that bought the business from the Gerson family and spent the rest of his career as managing director of the company.
Niall served a term as chairman of the One Group network of companies and he also sat on the FIDI Experts Panel.
Chris Mackley, with whom Niall worked for over 30 years, said: “We have been inundated by messages of condolence from friends and colleagues from the UK and around the world. All of these have been passed on to Niall’s wife Jenny and she has asked us to pass on her thanks.”
“Please pass on thanks from me, our children Calum and Georgia, and Niall’s sister Moira to all those who attended and sent cards and good wishes,” said Jenny. “There were so many that I won't be able to thank each one individually, but I would like all to know how much it meant to us that so much effort was made by so many and how comforted we are to know how well loved and respected Niall was. We were bowled over by how many attended and how far some travelled.”
As well as his family and his work, Niall had three other passions: supporting Leicester Tigers, playing his guitar and the local cricket club where he was an inspiration, especially to the younger members whom he aided and encouraged. He also had a great sense of humour and liked to have fun as the (above/below) picture, taken from the church order of service, clearly shows.
As Chris Mackley said, he will be sadly missed by all his colleagues at Gerson Relocation Ltd. There are many others around the world who will remember Niall with fondness, respect and, of course, a smile.
Photo: Niall Mackay.
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