Pyrmont has known few residents who made an impression like Mandy Mailey did. She had a personality that was as loud and colourful as her hair, and a bottomless heart full of love. Mandy’s passing on September 27 racked the community with sadness and disbelief – we thought she was indestructible.
Born in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’, Mandy’s childhood was lived in the midst of routine explosions, gun shots, fear, and violence. It wasn’t until her family moved temporarily to England that she realised her childhood had been far from normal. She enjoyed peace and security, and played children’s games for the first time. But alas, it was short-lived and the family returned again to the ravages of a horrid war.
Mandy moved to London as an adult to escape an abusive relationship and earn money to send back home. She met and married Michael and the family moved to Switzerland for Michael’s well-paying job.
In the year’s that followed, the Mailey family would relocate several times – France, Singapore, and finally to Australia. They found themselves in Pyrmont and Mandy immediately embedded herself in the community, organising fundraising and social events, initiating children’s services, and generally being instrumental in local activities. Everyone who had anything to do with Mandy regarded her with high respect and deep affection.
Yet, after eight years in residence, a resume that was testament to Mandy’s social value, and proven dedication to the community, the Mailey family were never granted permanent visas and faced deportation within a few short months.
Sadly, Mandy’s remaining time was spent worrying over where they would go next, what they would do, and what they were leaving behind. Fate took that worry away for Mandy.
Last year, the Reverend David Gore of Mustard Seed Uniting Church interviewed Mandy for his podcast, Ultimo Rev. It’s a heart-warming and very candid conversation in which Mandy shares details of her extraordinary life. If you never got to meet her, listen to this interview; it will give you a sense of her charm, amazing perseverance, and genuine humanity. – Ultimo Rev – Mandy Mailey

Leave a Reply