The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Government Printing Office
Government Printing Office.
Mr. John Mackay, who was appointed Government Printer in succession to Mr. Samuel Costall, soon after his resignation (about the end of May, 1896), is a Scotchman. Born in 1851 in Fifeshire, he accompanied his parents to Port Chalmers in the ship “Storm Cloud,” at the age of seven years. His father, Mr. Robert Mackay, died in 1886. Educated at the public schools and at the Dunedin High School, Mr. Mackay served five years in the office of the Bruce Herald, Milton, and twelve months at Messrs. Mills, Dick and Co.'s office, Dunedin. Starting business on his own account in 1871, he continued in the trade for fully seventeen years; during a portion of this period he was associated with Mr. McGregor Fenwick, since editor of the Otago Witness, under the style of Mackay, Fenwick, and Co. Having sold his plant to Messrs. Risk, Munro, and Co. in 1888, he went to England and the Continent of Europe, spending six months altogether, during which period he gained valuable information generally as to the printing and paper trades, and returned to the Colony with a better grasp of the entire business. Settling down again in the “Edinburgh of New Zealand,” he accepted the management of the job printing department of the Evening Star, where he remained till the 15th of June, 1896, when he took up his duties in Wellington. Mr. Mackay has always taken a lively interest in educational matters, and was many years a member of the Arthur Street School Committee in Dunedin. In church matters he has been a member of the First Church (Presbyterian) for about a quarter-of-a-century, and was an elder for about half of that period. In 1879 Mr. Mackay was married to a daughter of Mr. D. McCorkindale, of Roslyn, and has one son.