History of the H.L Black Memorial Race Day
Each year, the H.L. Black Memorial is an exciting part of the Mackay racing calendar and the Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival in the lead up to the Mackay Cup, one of our biggest race days of the year. The drawcard of the HL Black Memorial race is not only the generous prize money but also the automatic entry into the Mackay Cup for the winning horse.
The first H.L. Black Memorial race was held back in 1930 and has continued to this day thanks to the support and sponsorship by the family. The race was named after Henry Lindesay Black (1847-26.10.1926) one of the interesting forefathers of the Mackay we know today. Born in Scotland, he arrived in Australia at just 16 to gain experience on cattle stations and went on to become a station manager and later an auctioneer and commission agent, establishing Henry L. Black Auctioneers & Commission Agents in 1881, now known as Blacks Real Estate in Mackay. But his legacy doesn’t stop there…. From 1882 to 1919, he was the secretary of the Mackay Turf Club, advisory steward of the North Queensland Racing Association and a noted jockey. He was also a member and treasurer of the Mackay Masonic Lodge, a director of The Daily Mercury and served as Mayor of Mackay in 1888. Henry’s funeral in October 1926 was Mackay’s first motor-led funeral.Facts obtained from the family and the Mackay Regional Council’s “Heritage Walk – Mackay Cemetery Brochure” 7th edition 2015.