My tribute to Mac - John Shannon

As a 13 year old Mac Gregory left home and travelled to distant Jervis Bay to join the Royal Australian Navy...he did more than join the Navy...he gave his body and soul to the his distinguished Service and later his dedication to researching its history.

He became passionate about the idea of a permanent memorial to honour the Navy's role in of his lasts tasks was to commission a sculptor to create the monument....that will proceed  and it is planned to dedicate it in April 2015. 

It will not only honour the Navy, it will be a lasting legacy of a most inspiring RAN Lieutenant Commander (Retd).

I am ex RAAF and know little of the Navy. I met Mac when he was ADC to Governor General McKell.... I was Secretary of a Canberra Hockey Club and Mac approached me about joining the club.

My wife, Dorothy, and I became good friends of Mac and his wife, Gladys.

Mac and I had very different occupations, which kept us apart geographically and socially for years at a time. When we returned after five years in London, Mac and Gladys and two daughters were at Station Pier to greet us. Our relationship was immediately restored...the years apart were no more than a blink of an eye.

Many years passed without meeting...I had spent several more years overseas...but in 1995 Mac came to Canberra for our Golden Wedding.

In 2001 we moved to Sale in Victoria. Ever since, I watched Mac march with real pride, at the head of the Canberra/Shropshire contingent on Anzac Day. In more recent years he rode head of the contingent...for me the most striking aspect was when he waved to the crowds his face lit up with the enthusiasm and excitement of a dedicated 13 year old Cadet Midshipman...Mac's successor on Anzac Day has been set a high standard to follow.

Many of us in our lifetime meet outstanding gentlemen...Mac set the highest standard as a gentleman.

It has been an HONOUR and PLEASURE to be his friend,


John Shannon


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