To mark the passing of well known Katherine resident Bob Mackie we recall this story from back in 2012 when he was awarded community hero status.
PASSIONATE Katherinite and devoted Rotarian Bob Mackie rolled into town in 1968 on a grader he had driven from Perth, and since that six-week odyssey opening up the road on his path to the Territory, he has made an indelible mark on Katherine.
When wife Edith (decd 2017) joined him with their seven-month-old son shortly after, the pair quickly fell in love with Katherine. Mr Mackie has since held many roles in the community, and is renowned for his charity work and fund raising with Rotary and the Freemasons.
After a severe car accident not long after settling in Katherine, Mr Mackie was forced to give up the very physical work he had been used to, and turned his hand to sweeping the streets.
He also ran a chicken and pizza shop before taking on the running of the town's funeral service.
When failing eyesight forced yet another change in Mr Mackie's path, he simply threw himself further into his volunteer work.
For a period prior to corrective surgery, he had no sight, but his community involvement did not falter.
Having just marked 35 years with Rotary in Katherine, there are not many in the community who haven't come across the 72-year old in some capacity.
He was instrumental in bringing Katherine's Rotary Fun Park project to fruition, and he nurtured the project from its inception when he observed a similar Rotary initiative on a trip back to his homeland of Scotland almost 15 years ago.
Katherine local Bill Daw - who recalls first getting to know Mr Mackie when hanging out as a very young man at his pizza shop, said his friend is a "true community hero."
"Everybody knows Bob.
"He is a good man and a wonderful character."
Mr Mackie has been recognised with a Volunteer of the Year Award for his tireless work, and his wife Edith said it is not in his nature to slow down.
"He wouldn't know what to do with himself.
"When he's involved in something he's very involved."
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