David Douglas Mackenzie

Obituary

 

MACKENZIE, David Douglas After a lengthy battle with cancer and Parkinson's disease, which he fought to the end with characteristic stoicism, D.D. Mackenzie passed away peacefully at home on August 4th, 2005. Born on December 28th, 1921 David attended Morrison's Academy, Crieff and Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh where latterly his sporting talents were first noticed.

The second World War interrupted any athletic plans and after several refusals due to stomach ulcers David was commissioned into the RAF in 1941. A pilot of both fighters and bombers in the European theatre, his interest in flying continued for the rest of his long life. With the end of the war David resumed his studies and sports; gaining an M.A. in History from Edinburgh University, he was also selected as a member of the British Olympic Track Team at the 1948 London Olympics.

He was also a Rugby International for Scotland; later playing for the Barbarians and for Canada, making a tour of Japan in 1959. After the war, David joined the Royal Canadian Navy, and in the next decade was stationed in Nova Scotia and British Columbia. He attended and taught at the officer leadership schools in Greenwich, England and Royal Roads Military Academy on Vancouver Island. In 1961, having resigned his commission as Lieutenant-Commander, David became Headmaster of Brentwood College on Vancouver Island, re-founding a school that had closed thirteen years previously.

For the next fifteen years David guided the school through its growing pains, oversaw the campus expansion, championed the switch to co-educational status in 1972, and was chairman of the Canadian Independent Schools Headmasters Conference. He found enormous pleasure in working with an excellent staff, not to mention teaching History and coaching his beloved rugby to the young Brentonians. David Mackenzie loved Brentwood and all of his years there and kept a keen interest in its success in all the years that followed. As a result of an aneurysm, which nearly ended his life prematurely, David retired from Brentwood in 1976 but was soon active again. He worked in Hong Kong, as the representative for several Canadian Independent Schools and in 1984 was invited to chair a public meeting in West Vancouver for the creation of a new independent school.

This school became Collingwood School and David once again was a founding Headmaster. After retiring from Collingwood, David was instrumental in helping to found other schools in and around Vancouver, and never ceased to be interested in teaching; he taught until past his eightieth birthday. David was a member of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Council, and continued to work in this capacity for over ten years for the promotion and development of young Canadians. D.D. Mackenzie was a loving husband, father and grandfather. David's first wife Joyce, with whom he was happily married for thirty-five years, passed away in 1979.

He is survived by his two loving daughters Joan and Sheelagh, and grandchildren Jillian & Robin and Bridget & Savannah and great-grandchildren Miriam, Zack, Tripp and Sen. David is also survived by his second wife Mai, with whom he shared nearly twenty-five years of marriage; and by sons Mark and Philip and grandchildren, David, Gerard, Daniel and Morris.

A private family service was held at Brentwood College on August 10th, 2005. A public memorial service is planned for the fall at Brentwood College School. David Douglas Mackenzie M.A. F.R.S.A., athlete, naval flying officer and educator, born Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K. December 28th, 1921 died Vancouver, Canada August 4th, 2005.

Published in Vancouver Sun on Aug. 16, 2005