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Order of Malta Australia


Antony J. Macken AM GCM KCOM (Poland) – Requiescat in pace


Pictured: Confrère Tony Macken and his wife Rosalie at the 2017 National Assembly formal dinner at Customs House Brisbane.

It is with much sadness that we share the news that Confrere Antony J. Macken, former President of the Australian Association, died on 20th January 2024.

Tony joined the Order in 1997 and amongst his many achievements as Chancellor and later President of the Order, where he assisted in the expansion of the membership of the Order both in Australia and in the Asia Pacific region, he will also be remembered as a founding member of Eastern Palliative Care and for his work in establishing the Australian Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception.  He also had a fundamental role in furthering the Australian Association’s ongoing active participation in the annual Order of Malta Lourdes Pilgrimage.

Former President, and good friend, Jim Dominguez shared a eulogy at the Order’s Rosary, dedicated in memory of Tony:

It was on Saturday January 20 2024 that Tony Macken, 85, died unexpectedly but very peacefully at home.

He was a man of enormous personal charisma and warmth and as a daily communicant he was blessed with a very strongly-abiding religious faith and intrinsic modesty. He was also a person of great scholarship and immense legal capability.

He was educated by the Jesuits at Riverview in Sydney but when legal duty called, he moved his residence to Melbourne. Notwithstanding, his Sydney links remained strong including the Macken family compound on Pittwater in Sydney where he and his family spent many happy times, the last being only a few weeks before his death.

His Riverview days left him with a strong affection for the Society of Jesus.

In a text researched by Tony and circulated some years ago, he referred to Archbishop Roger Vaughan’s public tribute to Jesuits, spoken as the second Catholic archbishop of Sydney, 1877 – 1883.

The occasion was the first distribution of prizes to the Jesuit scholars at what is now St Aloysius College on 23 December 1879, a year before the foundation of Riverview. 

Asking himself why he could be so positive that Jesuit educators would confer “an inestimable benefit on the colony”, His Grace said: “For this simple reason – I know the men themselves, I am intimately acquainted with their spirit and have witnessed its effects. In England and in Rome I found them to be men of great self-sacrifice, great devotion, great simplicity and courage, and animated with one abiding central influence which ran into and vivified everything they did – their one desire and aim that God should be glorified by all they did, and that they themselves should be forgotten”.

Tony’s Riverview days were marked inter alia by his skill as a champion debater.  He was the leader of the College’s debating team which in 1954 won the GPS Debating Shield, for the first time since 1940.

In the chapel at Riverview, there is a stained-glass window honouring Tony’s great uncle Bob Macken who was killed in WWI in a battle at Pozieres in France. When Bob Macken died aged 21 his few possessions were later returned from France to his family. They included a torch, a flynet and a prayer book. In 2004, travelling to France, members of the Macken family left a portrait of Bob Macken with the Australian War Museum at Villers-Bretonneux to give a face to a Sydney boy who died valiantly and willingly, too young, so far away from home.

This courage and spirit also marked Bob’s great nephew, Tony, who succeeded me in 2003 as the President of the Australian Association of the Order of Malta.  However with his great modesty it took some time to persuade him to agree to his name going forward unchallenged for that position. With Tony in charge, the Order grew strongly in both members and financially in Australia. It also acquired an extra spirituality with the establishment upon his initiative of the Australian Subpriory of the Immaculate Conception in 2007.

A truly great man, he will veritably rest in peace.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.