World traveller calls Mackay home
JOHN Cooney has travelled all seven continents of the world and he still chooses to call Mackay home.
Yesterday, the Harvey World Travel Mackay owner joined the Daily Mercury's Spring in Your Step campaign, talking about his love for Mackay life.
"I think one of the most important things you learn about travel is how lucky we are in Australia," Mr Cooney said.
"Because my grass roots are here (and) my family, I really like Mackay.
"I enjoy the community feel. I enjoy that you still have a nice neighbourhood and a sense of community.
"I enjoy boating, I enjoy fishing, I enjoy golf; and the other thing I enjoy, which doesn't happen very often here, is surfing, even if it's just a ripple.
"I'm not very good at it but I love it."
Mr Cooney, who was born and bred in Mackay, said he loved visiting the Marina.
"My dad worked for the Harbour Board all his life.
"I remember coming out here as a kid when there was nothing but the old park."
Mackay has changed a lot since Mr Cooney was a child but he has embraced the transformation.
"I think inevitably it's got to grow. I think coal mining has helped but it comes with challenges.
"It's great to have more people in the city and mixed ideas and to become more cosmopolitan."
Mr Cooney loves travelling the world and has just returned from Las Vegas, which he described as "a city on steroids".
He said it was nice to come home to Mackay.
"It seems so strange coming back to somewhere like here but then, after a few days, it's nice not to have music blaring and everyone looking like they've got Prada sunglasses on!"
Tell us why you love Mackay in the comments below.