Obituary: Mike MacKenzie

Mike MacKenzie: a wide range of interests which he enthusiastically shared with others

Mike MacKenzie, who has died aged 79 after a short period of ailing health, was an enthusiastic member of CRSC and one of a dedicated band of ‘regulars’ on Waverley’s Clyde sailings. Dressed in raincoat, cap and shirt-and-tie whatever the weather, and invariably carrying a pair of old supermarket bags, Mike cut a quiet profile. But behind the unassuming exterior he had a lively mind which he applied to a wide range of interests.

The son of two teachers, he grew up in Kilmarnock and attended the Academy there, but spent almost all his working life at Chelmsford in England as an employee of Marconi. He was involved in producing radar for submarines, and personally developed a diagnostic programme for repairing radars. He was active in the Scouts at Chelmsford: all his letter-headings bore the Scout emblem.

Waverley approaching Tighnabruaich pier, a scene loved by Mike

Mike retired to Largs, where he immersed himself in a healthy range of activities, mostly related to his love of the Clyde, shipping and the outdoors. He was a generous supporter of the Blairmore & Benmore Community Group — he knew all the footpaths in the hillside above and beyond Blairmore pier — and was physically active in helping to clear away overgrowth on the rights of way around Tighnabruaich, even taking his own shears with him on Waverley.

He was a regular attender of Tall Ships meetings in Greenock, and was often to be found at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, looking for information about the latest vessels docking at Hunterston.

He also took a keen interest in the life and history of Greenock. Having travelled widely throughout Scotland, he maintained a correspondence with many of the people he had met.

This was typical of Mike — always happy to share his enthusiasms with others and then blend into the background.

His funeral on March 31 at the Greenock Crematorium was well attended by ‘Waverley-ites’. Mike will be missed by his wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

Mike MacKenzie (left) aboard Hebrides on CRSC’s January 2015 excursion to Arran, with Ken and Elsie Hinshalwood (centre) and Angus MacRae (right). Mike was also a regular attender at CRSC meetings in Glasgow