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News > Deaths & Obituaries > MACLAY, Callum

MACLAY, Callum

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories and celebrate the life of Callum Maclay, who we sadly lost in 2019
MACLAY, Callum
Died on March 13 March 2019, aged 45.

Born in Chiddingstone in 1973, Callum grew up in Brenchley, where he went to school at Yardley Court and then Tonbridge (SH 87-91). Supported by a strong family, he had a golden childhood, making many strong friendships that stayed with him through his life. He would always try and return for an annual golf day with friends from his Tonbridge Spanish class and their teacher, Martin King.
Having attended university in Manchester and Bristol, Callum spent his twenties exploring Asia. Beginning by teaching English in Japan, Callum moved across Indonesia, Taiwan, and China. Becoming fluent in Chinese, he developed his own language learning memory system and quickly acquired knowledge of over five thousand Chinese characters. He would use this memory system for the rest of his life, later completing a degree in English law, which he claimed to have learned in Chinese.
On his travels, Callum journeyed deep into western China, and lived for some time with fighting monks at a mountain monastery in Sichuan province near Tibet. Here the scenery was beautiful, but the plumbing was primitive. The energy system involved burning dried animal dung, and daily rations were pancakes made from grass. Faced with regular challenges from packs of wild dogs, this chapter in Callum’s life ended as he was brought down by one such dog attack, forcing him to return at haste to Shanghai for a Rabies shot.
Back in England, Callum stayed in Tunbridge Wells playing cricket for Penshurst before moving on to London. Harnessing his Chinese language skills, he worked with the Chinese Immigration Advisory Service before qualifying as a criminal and immigration lawyer working at Freeman’s solicitors in London. He met Wanlin who became the love of his live for the years to come.
Irritated with the English weather and fueled by his yearning for diverse spicy food, Callum returned to Asia in 2010. Relocating to what he described as the ‘paradise of the world’ in northern Thailand, he then lived in South Korea, before settling in Taiwan. During these years he developed an interest in music and film production and published a series of children’s stories based around ‘SnowPo’, a polar bear character that he had created.
Finding it difficult to settle in one place, in later years, Callum returned to Europe. Adding to the diversity of his journeys, he worked for six months on a farm near Trondheim in the north of Norway. He studied film at South Bank University, supporting his studies with employment in a London Casino, before his long standing colour blindness eventually put pay to his newfound career as a croupier!
Throughout his life, Callum would ‘suck the marrow from a place’ and then move on. In doing so he would always keep his brain turning over by learning new things. It was his way of dealing with the genetic issues that were becoming less dormant as time developed. A permanent student of the world, he lived a life of constant motion, always seeking new exercises and challenges.
He was the ultimate adventurer and free spirit.

(SH 87-91)

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