The late Anne MacKay (deceased 2012 at the age of 84) first visited Orient to stay with her grandparents who lived “on the hill” there. This began a lifelong love of the North Fork and its natural habitat. She taught countless friends to fish, clam, kayak and sail in the waters around Orient.
Anne graduated from Vassar College and was a supporter of the college her whole life, honored in 2010 for her leadership in lesbian and gay activities on campus. She authored the nonfiction book, “Wolf Girls at Vassar,” about lesbian lives on campus in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Anne spent her career as a teacher in New York City, teaching theater and performance at The Dalton School and Horace Mann Preparatory School. She also organized a number of theatrical presentations to help celebrate women’s liberation activities in New York City. She was an ardent folklorist and collector of early American folk songs and built her own dulcimers to play on. In recent years, she organized “Song Swaps” for local musicians to share traditional songs and new arrangements.
Anne was one of the early members of the North Fork Women for Women Fund which provides health care grants to women on the North Fork. She created and led its Archives Committee for many years. The collections of interviews and memorabilia from the archives project now reside in the Sophia Smith Collection for Women at Smith College. An avid friend, a great reader, collector of songs and explorer of the natural world, Anne MacKay led a passionate and committed life that benefited countless residents on the North Fork of Long Island.
Overview of North Fork Women
North Fork Women provides healthcare grants and offers financial assistance and personal support to lesbians on the North Fork of Long Island, New York who are facing emergency health situations: difficulties caused by aging, illness, disability, or disruptions of physical or mental well-being, and those with inadequate or no health insurance. North Fork Women is committed to health advocacy and education, and develops activities and programs that foster the social and community life of lesbians on the North Fork.