AN era came to an end on Friday with the death of Gaby Mackinnon who for more than 40 years had been a stalwart of the British expatriate community. The fact that her work for the Anglican Church in Majorca earned her an MBE just underlines what an important role she did play. When I was doing Saturday's front page I thought of Gaby and the words Grand Lady came into my mind; and she certainly was.
I remember having Boxing Day lunch with her just three years ago and being amazed, that despite her long years, how charming and grand she still was. Growing up in Majorca in the late 1970s and early 1980s I remember Gaby seemed to be involved in most things along with other great stalwarts such as Jane Reynolds, Joy Whitcombe, Neville and Maxine Walters and Sarah Lane Wise. They were people who dedicated their life to the expatriate community and they achieved a lot. As a cub reporter on this newspaper I remember Jane Reynolds, who had been threatened with arrest and in fact imprisonment in some dispute involving her dogs home, telling me that she didn't mind going to jail and she was going to take some dirty magazines with her. I remember covering Gaby's fashion shows, which were incredibly well organised and always had a touch of class despite a very limited budget. If you look through the back copies of this newspaper they are literally full of reports of what the people I have named above achieved. In fact this newspaper has almost been a chronicle of their lives here. There was something very special about Gaby Mackinnon and her death is not only a loss to the expatriate community it is a sad loss to Majorca. They don't make people like Gaby anymore and I am just pleased that all her hard work was recognised by Britain with the award of the MBE. As one of her friends said to me: Gaby was special. Indeed she was.
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