Death of Rev Douglas MacKay

Rev. Canon Douglas Mckay
Rev. Canon Douglas Mckay

The Rev Canon Douglas MacKay, a former Citizen of the Year and past rector of the Church of the Holy Rood, has passed away aged 88.

The hugely-respected cleric, originally from Glasgow, retired from the post of vice-provost of St Paul’s Cathedral in Dundee in 2012.

He enjoyed a long and distinguished career, serving in the Diocese of Brechin for 40 years, with 27 of those years spent as rector of the Church of the Holy Rood in Carnoustie.

During this time he was convener of the diocesan social service board and diocesan joint board. In 1981 he was elected synod clerk, which conveyed on him title of Canon. He was an active member of the Carnoustie community, chairing the Community Council and being president of the Carnoustie British Red Cross and president of Carnoustie Rotary Club.

He also founded the Carnoustie Community Helpline with Dr Sandy McKendrick in 1981. Dr McKendrick, the current depute lord lieutenant of Angus, told the Gazette: “I first met Douglas in 1976. He was caring, he loved people and he was light-hearted. He was a great friend of mine and also my family and was particularly good to my wife when she was ill.

“One of the great things about him was involving everybody to help anybody with anything. His faith was very practical. I used to describe myself as an agnostic atheist but his friends were drawn from all walks of life.”

The Carnoustie Community Helpline, with the aid of volunteers, helps people attend such things as medical appointments. Dr McKendrick revealed the lengths to which Mr Mackay would go to help others, saying: “I remember one old man who lived on his own and had no relatives or friends left to offer practical help and Douglas did his shopping for him. That’s the kind of man he was.”

Asked for a final comment about the friend who had tried “and failed” to teach him golf, Dr McKendrick had this to say: “He was always full of good cheer and would always leave having told a really bad joke!”

The funeral service will be held, on September 29, at the Church of the Holy Rood.

Mr Mackay is survived by his wife, two daughters and three granddaughters.