Vale, Andrew Ernst McKay (editorial)
By Damien of Devotion
It would be easy not to produce a edition of Devotion News this month as we mourn the loss of our Secretary, Past Director of Ceremonies, and Four Times Past Master of Lodge Devotion; Andy McKay. Sadly, Andy lost his fight with cancer on Sunday 24 May at Cabrini here in Melbourne.
To say we’ve taken a huge hit from the departure of our Brother is to completely understate the effect of this loss. Andy’s absence is a substantial emotional and operational challenge – but lodges don’t get to be 300 years old by giving up in difficult of times like this. Nor is giving up in the spirit of Andy’s commitment to Lodge Devotion’s success. We must be always vigilant about preserving the strength of a lodge – they are fragile things Lodges, but good ones like our also come together during times like these. And I look to Andy’s efforts to hold and build Lodge Devotion and his perseverance and optimism in the face of obstacles that have crushed other warrants. He set an example for us to emulate and for those who knew him, his legacy and influence will live on, in ways we will recognize, and in many other ways we will not.
In our Master’s Message, Mike says there would be no Devotion with Andy. True I think. When we were down less than 20 members, as DC Andy conscripted help far and wide to keep us going. This is not something said in the emotion nor absence of a lost member, it’s widely known and I’m not the only one who told Andy this directly over the years. Really, he couldn’t argue with such an obvious fact, although occasionally he did, or more commonly he’d just change the subject.
Andy at Devotion’s March 2015 meeting where we surprised him with a Birthday Party – this photo was taken moments after he walked into the South – and is how many of us will remember him – smiling with a drink in his hand, being Happy and Communicating Happiness to Others.
He was a proposer and/or mentor to so many of us. His mark on us is clearly identifiable, but the ripples of his influence are important and have had a knock on effect. For instance, Andy proposed me, I proposed Glenn. Without Andy, Glenn would not be a Freemason. Andy proposed Cameron. Cameron proposed Borris (seconded by Andy). Without Andy, Borris would not be a Freemason. Without Andy, we would not have seen joining members like Mark or Roger and Ivan who Andy shepherded towards Lodge Devotion . You can write a very very long list of similar examples. Without Andy I think our lodge would have folded.
Andy often used to describe himself as “just a facilitator” (of others growth and success). His ability to do that and develop members as lodge officers, leaders, friends and men will be a lasting legacy. Give me any member’s name I know, and I will be able to say how Andy introduced him or helped hold him to Devotion.
Whatever we write about Andy – it’s bound to fail to do him and his contribution to our lodge justice and is likewise certain to fail to convey the respect and love with which he was held and will continue to be held until we join him.
As Todd sms’ed me on the day of his funeral: “Such as sad day for us but a happy day for GL above.. no doubt he will be imposing his unique brand on everyone. Bless him.”