Born in Tullamore, NSW, on Christmas Day in 1944, Bill followed his apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with an Engineering Certificate from Sydney Technical College. He then joined Allis Chalmers (now Allis Mineral Systems Australia) and started his long involvement with screens, culminating in his appointment as National Manager of Honert Vibrationtechnic in 1982. With both companies, Bill made his mark with bigger, better and more innovative screens.
Among offices held with the Coal Preparation Society were periods as NSW Secretary (1976-84), Vice Chairman (1984-85), Chairman (1985-87), Treasurer (1987-92), and National Treasurer (1988-92). He was also instrumental in guiding the NSW Society into Registered Company status in the early 80's and in the subsequent amalgamation with the Queensland Society in 1988. He is widely regarded as the 'father' of the Australian Coal Preparation Society in its present form.
Bill was a long-standing member of Standards Australia's coal preparation committee and its screening working group, as well as working on other SAA working groups and representing Australia on the equivalent bodies of the International Standards Organisation, ISO. He was also a member of the NSW Branch of education committee and a regular lecturer at courses offered by the Society, and was the author of several published papers on various aspects of screening.
Bill McKay died on Monday 25 January 1993 after a long, and for many of his colleagues unsuspected, battle with cancer.
The Society recognises his significant contribution by the NSW Branch awarding, annually, the Bill Mackay Scholarship.