Mac's battle for navy honoured at Pride of Australia awards24 Aug 11 @ 10:54am by Christopher Gillett VIDEO
At just 13 years old he signed up to the navy.
Now, 76 years later, Mackenzie “Mac” Gregory is still fighting to promote the sacrifices of Australia’s naval forces.
The Melbourne resident was awarded the Community Spirit Medal at yesterday’s Pride of Australia presentation, after decades of campaigning to get a permanent memorial built.
“I feel very humbled,” said Mr Gregory.
“It’s been a long time trying to
build a seven-foot-tall bronze statue in Port Melbourne.”
“At 89 I haven’t got all that much time left so it becomes more urgent.”
He said he was committed to the task, but the project was $150,000 short.
“There is nothing in the Port Melbourne precinct to mark the 15,000 naval men and women going to war or who served their county in peace,” he said.
“I am determined to raise the money and finish this job.’’
The navy needs more recognition, he said.
“The army win by their sheer weigh of numbers, but the navy takes them there and pulls them off when they get into trouble,” Mr Gregory said.
Mr Gregory also operates a historical website which tracks down details for those who lost loved ones during the war (Ahoy - Mac's Weblog).
“I am generally able to locate them and help a particular family, and that is wonderful,” he said.