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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
John MacKenzie

A representative citizen of Strathmore is John Mackenzie, who is editor and proprietor of the Strathmore Bow Valley Standard, He was born in Rothesay, Scotland, on the 1st of February, 1887, a son of Murdoch and Mary Mackenzie, also natives of Scotland. The father is a newspaper man, spending the greater part of his life in that work, and now owns and edits a newspaper at Rothesay. To Mr. and Mrs. Mackenzie five children were born: John, whose name introduces this review; Murdoch, who served in the intelligence department during the World war and died in 1918; Donald A., who served with the British Balkan Expeditionary Forces for two years and met his death on active service; and Marian and Jessie, who are living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Mackenzie were consistent communicants of the Presbyterian church and generous contributors to its support.

In the acquirement of his education John Mackenzie attended the Rothesay Academy and after leaving school he worked in his father's newspaper office. He learned the business from the ground up and in 1909 came to Canada and located in Calgary, accepting a position on the staff of the Albertan. He reported on that paper for three months, at the termination of which time he came to Strathmore and assisted in the establishment of the Strathmore Bow Valley Standard, which he managed for one year. He then bought out the others interested in the sheet and has since been sole publisher. He has installed modern machinery, intertype, cylinder press, etc. Aside from the publication of the paper Mr. Mackenzie does much commercial printing, and he devotes his entire time and attention to the paper and wields a great influence for good in this community. The value of the local newspaper in the upbuilding of the best interests of any community is universally conceded. The rule is that good papers are found in good towns, inferior journals in towns of stunted growth and uncertain future. It is not so much a matter of size as of excellence and adaptability to the needs of its locality. These conditions given, in an appreciative and progressive community, the size of the paper will take care of itself in a way mutually satisfactory to publishers and patrons. The Strathmore Bow Valley Standard, being located in a progressive community, enjoys a large and ever-increasing circulation and Mr. Mackenzie well merits the confidence and esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Mackenzie is a veteran of the 'World war, having enlisted in the Eighty-ninth Battalion in 1915, and received his training at Red Deer. In May, 1916, he went overseas to England, and was sent to France in November of that year as a member of the Tenth Battalion, He was severely wounded at Vimy Ridge on the 9th of April, 1917, receiving a bullet wound in the leg, and head injuries. He was invalided to England, where he remained in a hospital for some time. In January, 1919, he returned to Alberta and received his honorable discharge, with the rank of lieutenant.

In 1912 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Mackenzie to Miss Helen McKinnon Donaldson, a native of Scotland. To their union one child has been born Mary Helen, who is living at home. Mrs. Mackenzie is a woman of culture and refinement and she is prominent in the club and social circles of Strathmore.

The family are consistent members of the Presbyterian church. Fraternally Mr. Mackenzie is identified with the Masons and he is a past master of Lodge No. 53, at Strathmore. He is a member of the local school board and a stanch advocate of education. Along newspaper lines he is identified with the Alberta Press Association, of which he is president and he was the first president of Strathmore G. W. V. A. Mr. Mackenzie is justly accorded a place among the prominent and representative citizens of Strathmore, for he belongs to that class of men whose enterprising spirit is used not alone for their own benefit—he also advances the general good and promotes public prosperity by his ably managed individual interests.


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