Former coach laid to rest

The doyen of athletic coaches, rugby player and teacher at Alexander Sinton Senior Secondary, Dennis Mackay, died in Belgravia Estate after a short illness last week at the age of 81.

Mr Mac, as he was affectionately known, was Sinton’s athletics coach and under his guidance, the school won the A section of the Western Province Senior Schools Sport Union (WPSSSU)championships an unprecedented 12 times between the late 1960s to the 1970s.

Under difficult conditions that all WPSSSU schools were subject to, Mr Mackay produced gems like sprint sensation Herman Gibbs (father of cricketer Herschelle), Okkie Morkel, Brian Louw, to name a few.

A tough, but fair coach, he demanded only the best and will be remembered for Sinton’s sleek baton hand-over in the relays. Besides coaching athletics, Mr Mackay, the Physical Training master, also taught typing, accountancy and night school.

As a rugby player, he was a force in the former Universals Rugby Football club, playing flyhalf and fullback.

He had a prodigious goal-kicking ability and played until age 52.

He was an able administrator and a top flight rugby referee for the City Park, Crawford-based City and Suburban Ruby Football Union.

His sons Roger, Wayne, Ashley and Morné all followed in his footsteps and played rugby. His wife died a few years ago and he his survived by all his sons, his daughter Colleen and several grandchildren

Russel Michaels is a former Belgravia High pupil and rugby player, coached by Dennis Mackay.