A Century of Expanding Horizons: Alec MacKenzie

Posted: 26/02/2015 | Scottish War Blinded

“One of Linburn’s Most Distinguished Graduates”

Scottish War Blinded member Alec Mackenzie had worked in the Far East for over 20 years prior to the Japanese invasion in 1941. He had also been an all-round sportsman of outstanding ability and captained the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club in Fangling for several years.

Scottish War Blinded Member Alec MacKenzieAlec was also a member of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Forces and lost his sight as an officer attached to the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots during the defence of Hong Kong.  

He was the first commissioned officer to arrive at Linburn who demonstrated an outstanding aptitude for reading Braille and touch-typing. Upon completion of rehabilitation, Alec was appointed Appeals Officer in the North of Scotland for Scottish War Blinded where he successfully raised considerable amounts of money for the charity.

Alec died in December 1969, an extract from his tribute is provided below which featured in Scottish War Blinded’s 1970 Annual Report:

“His cheerful disposition, wonderful courage and steadfast resolve to overcome his visual impairment made him popular alike with his blinded companions and with the staff.

“On leaving Linburn, Alec was appointed to do appeals work for the Scottish War Blinded. In this he was successful. His Rotary connection – he was President of Inverness Rotary Club in 1957-59 – and the fact he was an excellent public speaker assisted him gain the interest and support of the public for the many sporting events, games, meetings, etc..he organised.

“One of his early successes, which gave him tremendous satisfaction, was an appeal he made for Linburn on the BBC Scottish Programme in 1960. This produced about £1000, at that time a United Kingdom record for a charity appeal.

“It would not be possible to assess in financial terms the contributions which Alec made directly and in-directly to the welfare of his fellow blinded servicemen. In 1952 he was appointed Taipan (Headman) of the Fanglingerers  - a world-wide association of members and friends of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club and their generosity to Linburn (£13,500 to date) is largely due to their affection, and admiration of Alec MacKenzie.”