Charles Mackay, 1920

Charles Mackay, 1920

The fall and rise of New Zealand's first "homosexual"

In 1929 Charles Mackay, a former mayor of Wanganui bled to death on a Berlin street corner - a victim of violent clashes between police and Communist protesters. How did he get there? An earlier incident triggered Mackay's tragic trajectory: in 1920 he shot the returned soldier-cum-writer Walter D'Arcy Cresswell, who was blackmailing the (secretly homosexual) mayor. Paul Diamond's research into the events surrounding both shootings has uncovered new information about this hidden aspect of New Zealand history.

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Citation information

Record date:7th September 2011
Audio courtesy of:NZ History