Obituary: Bruce McKenzie

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Bruce McKenzie

BRUCE McKenzie, inspirational schoolmaster and former international sportsman, of Torkington Gardens, Stamford, died at Peterborough City Hospital, aged 88.

Born in Canada to Scottish parents, Meta and James McKenzie, he returned to Scotland with his mother, brother and sister at the age of 13, when his father died. He was educated at Dunfermline High School, where in his final year he was head boy, captain of the 1st XI, captain of 1st XV, athletics champion and captain of Dunfermline Royals Ice Hockey team.

He graduated from Edinburgh University with a first class honours degree in mathematics. His university career was interrupted by the second world war, when he was posted to the Admiralty Signals Establishment at Haslemere, working in a team designing filters to eliminate interference caused by the radar systems.

He played ice hockey for Scotland during the war, was Scottish universities 440 yards champion and ran for Scotland in a full international athletics match.

As a dashing fly half for London Scottish and Edinburgh University he had two final trials for the Scotland rugby side and was selected as reserve for Scotland v Australia in 1947.

His first teaching post was Marr College, Troon in 1949 and from there he went to Fettes College in Edinburgh, teaching maths and coaching rugby and athletics before moving to Stamford School as head of mathematics in 1957.

Other interests included Scottish country dancing and bridge.

He was a member of Burghley Park Golf Club for more than 50 years and along with Howard Mulligan introduced the game of golf to many young Stamford schoolboys.

He served on the governing body of the Stamford Endowed Schools after he retired from teaching and was an active member of the Old Stamfordian Club.

Along with his wife Cecily, he was a founder member of Stamford Bridge Club and was chairman of the club from 1972 - 2000 and president until he died. The brand new custom built premises at Exeter Gardens opened recently and the building is named McKenzie House in recognition of the sterling service both as player and teacher.

The hearse and cortege assembled at Stamford Bridge Club, where members gathered for his final journey to Marholm Crematorium.

A thanksgiving service for his life followed at Stamford School Chapel, the Rev Mark Goodman officiating. David Lovell-Brown was organist and readings, tribute and musical solos were given by members of his family. The chapel was full with family, friends, former pupils and colleagues paying their respects to a remarkable man.

Family mourners included: Mark and Sue Walmsley, James and Roz McKenzie, Emma Walmsley, Rob Hardie, James and Debbie Walmsley, Sarah and Alex Hill, Kirsty McKenzie, Craig Webb, Alastair McKenzie, Becky Goble, Adam McKenzie, Anne Ramsley, Liz and Dave Thirkell, Sandra and George Glasgow, Barbara McMillan, Andrew and Jacqueline Ramsey, Douglas and Jean Troup, Mary Boshier, Helen Boshier, David Boshier (Kate, Angus and Ana), Joe Wildsmith (Clem and June Aylott), Ian Clark.

Sympathisers included: Paul Double (Stamford Bridge Club, Carol Double), Brian Churchill (Stamford Bridge Club, Burghley Park Golf Club captain), Christine White (Stamford Bridge Club), Berry and Graham Hedley, David Hill, Andy Ferrier (Bill Ferrier, Robin Riddington), Bill Simpson and Beryl Peill (Marcus Witt), Paul and Vivien West, Simon Stanley (family), Ian Plant (Tracey Plant), Bruce Dodworth, Trevor Thrower (Northamptonshire Contract Bridge Association), James Tyers, John Davies (Dr and Mrs J Mitchell, Kim and Andy Lawrence, Drew and Sue Russell), John Craddock (Edwin and Margaret Gobbett, Rev Michael Gobbett, Stuart Marriott, Michael and Neera Snarey, Sheila Wolfenden), Chris Faux (family, Fettes College), Dr Dennis Fitzpatrick, Carl Killgren (Sue Killgren, Stamford School), Dudley Bryant (OS Club, Boston dinner organiser), Michael and Wendy Nimmons, Patti Harbage (Spalding Duplicate Bridge Club, Dr and Mrs Roy Aitkin), Bob Leyland (Spalding Bridge Club), Brian Appleyard, Chris Thorley (Claire Thorley), Lynda McNally, Jenny Harding, Colin and Elaine Wiggington, Sue Houghton (Emma, Mark) Alan Henderson, Don Overton, Alan Hancock (Margaret Hancock), Brian Tyers, Adam Poulter, Clare Arthur (Terry Arthur), Dora Baker, Anna Timm (Geoffrey Timm), Edyth Day (Eileen, Mike, Julian and Arabella Smith), George and Elizabeth Woolf, Geoff Holyoake (John and Caroline Cartwright and OS Golfing Society), Tony Warner-Smith, Rosamund Quantrill, James and Bridget Everitt (family, Margaret Cubitt, Zanny Palmer, Trish Pook), Dan Pope (Judie Pope), Goldie Bardwell (John Bardwell), David and Janis Salmon (family), Gay Chinn (John Chinn), Tim Walmsley (Kitty, Anna and Olivia Walmsley), Sanna Drummond (Eric Drummond), Bill Chadwick (Stamford Bridge Club, Stamford School), Martin and Ann Llowarch (Duncan Llowarch), Maj Gen John Drewienkiewicz, Mike Harrison (Philip Harrison), Jacqueline Denney (Dave Denney), Tony Canham (Gavin Canham and family), Jeremy Flint (Angela and Sue Flint, Alistair Ellis Smith), Geoff and Kate Chambers, Robert Wakerley, Julia Scholes, Peter Burgin (Edwin Waterworth, Stamford Bridge Club), Shelia Blankley (Elizabeth, Stella and Helen), David Nalson (P Nalson, Mr and Mrs J Scarborough), Keven Johnstone, Catherine Ferdinand (Witham Hall School), Dick Haynes (Julia Haynes, John and Pauline Crampin), Dave Lennie (Stamford School common room), Steve Brown (Val Brown and family), Mike Chew, Don Bentley, Grahamme Sorfleet, John Cross (family), Sue Webster, Simon Sharp (Tom Sharp and family, Clive Simmons), Mike Salt, Mick Swatton (Ned Sullivan), James and Deanna Davies (Matthew Davies), Sally West (Stamford Bridge Club), Libby Craig (staff and children Stamford Junior School), John Norman (Birgit Norman, Bridge Club), Jonathan Barnett (Dave and Judy Barnett, Steve and Rachel Stafford), Christopher Wiggins, Lawrie Wickson (Stamford Bridge Club), David Allsop (David and Andrew), Alan Gray (Brenda Gray, Anne Harrison-Smith), Marlene Jones, Chandra and Anne Ramamoorthy, Morag Roberts (Andrew Powney, Michael Klee), Pam Barton (Mike Barton), Hugh and Di Holden, Nora Anderson (Rowland Davies), John Hale (Anne Hale), Dyl Powell (Stamford High School), Brian Hodgson (Jenny Hodgson), Ann Johnstone (Lucy, Jessica and James), Hazel Smith (Eddie, Edward and Davyd), Mollie Birch (George and Christopher Birch), Judi and Mike Atkinson (Stephen, Tim and families), John Gleeson (Margaret Gleeson, Ian Gleeson), David and Pat Williams, Margo Bellamy (D A Bellamy, D K Bellamy), Keith and Jenni Williamson, Carmel Flint, Hilary Watson, Jenny Tily (Chris, Geoffrey and Philip Tily), John Price (Donald Steel), John Mitchell (Josh White), Peter Beanland (Jacqueline Walker), Jackie Catell, Rachel Petrie, Will Phelan, Stephen Roberts, Paul White, Bill Harris, Alan Staveley, Mike and Maureen Pring, Sandra and Nigel Smith.