Topic: Keith McKenzie

Topic type:

Keith McKenzie (1924-1996) supported many local causes and was significantly involved with Rotary.

Keith McKenzie with his catchKeith McKenzie was born on 3rd September 1924 in Dargaville, the 5th child in a family of 7 children. Keith grew up in the Dargaville area also living in Herekino, Broadwood and later in Papatoetoe. During his school years some of his education was achieved through the Correspondence School.

After leaving school Keith worked for Skeates & White in Auckland learning the trade of a cycle and motor mower serviceman also working for a time for Wiseman's also in Auckland.

Keith entered into partnership with Harry Adolph from Rotorua in opening a business in the new town of Kawerau in 1954. They operated their business from a site in Bridge Road (now Tamarangi Drive) opposite the new mill site. The business was named Adolph's Cycles and Motors. Keith and his employee Tony Coppard serviced cars, motorbikes in their open air workshop from 1954 until in 1957 when the business was moved to permanent premises in Onslow Street. In July 1961 Keith purchased Harry Adolph's share of the business which was renamed McKenzie's Cycles and Motors. The business concentrated on selling and servicing bicycles, motor mowers, prams and pushchairs. Keith remained in this business until his retirement in 1990.

Keith married Mildred Howie on the 23rd May 1959 in Papatoetoe, Auckland. Mildred and Keith lived at Lake Rotoma until they moved into their new home in Mackenzie Street in September 1963. Their daughter Lynette was born in 1961 and their second daughter Sandra was born in 1963.

Keith became a member of the Kawerau Branch of Rotary International in 1961 and during his membership he held the positions of Treasurer, Bulletin Editor and in 1970/1971 held the office of President. In 1987, Keith became a Paul Harris Fellow, an award presented by Rotary International to recognize his outstanding community service. One particular community project that Keith was involved with was the construction of the Rotary stone bridge in Stoneham Walk. In recognition of Keith's service to his community the reserve on Tamarangi Drive was named Keith McKenzie Rotary Park.

Among Keith's other interests were: gardening, wine making, tramping and trout fishing. Keith was involved with Kawerau Junior Anglers' Club and the instigation of the Junior Anglers' fishery in the Ruruanga Stream. He was also involved with the Kawerau Pony Club when his daughters were members. In his retirement Keith was a member of the Kawerau Art Society and along with Mildred travelled extensively both in New Zealand and overseas. Keith also assisted with the organization of Daffodil Day in Kawerau.

Keith passed away in 1996.

He was featured as one of our Early Residents in the exhibition held by the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum September 2011 - August 2012.

Keith McKenzie

First Names:Keith
Last Name:McKenzie
Place of Birth:Dargaville