Vale Bobby MacKen­zie

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths -

MANY Kin­lochleven res­i­dents would re­mem­ber Robert (Bobby) MacKen­zie who died on 26 July 2015 in a nurs­ing home in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia.

Born on 19 Septem­ber 1928 at 17 Leven Road, Kin­lochleven, Bobby was the sec­ond

youngest of 11 chil­dren to John MacKen­zie of Dores Inn and Mag­gie McIntyre An­der­son McLaren of Dun­phail Lodge.

The fam­ily con­sisted of six girls and five boys – Christina (Chrissie), Mar­garet, twins Jean and Ann, Al­berta (Berta) and Jessie (who died in in­fancy), John (Jackie), An­gus, Dun­can, Alan and Bobby.

Most of the fam­ily were em­ployed at the Bri­tish Alu­minium Com­pany’s plant at

Kin­lochleven at some time dur­ing their work­ing lives and when Bobby MacKen­zie left school at 15 he worked as an of­fice boy for the BA.

When given the chance to start an ap­pren­tice­ship as a fit­ter he jumped at it but two years later (1946) he en­listed in the Bri­tish army with the Royal Elec­tri­cal and Me­chan­i­cal Engi­neers.

He com­pleted a six-week ini­tial train­ing stint in Perth then was sent to Eng­land for fur­ther train­ing.

In 1947, he was sent to Belfast and found him­self regularly on guard du­ties.

He was only there for four months be­fore be­ing sent to York then Bland­ford in Dorset

even­tu­ally be­ing re­leased to the army re­serve on 18 March 1949.

Var­i­ous labour­ing jobs fol­lowed and when his of­fi­cial dis­charge from the army came through on 2 Oc­to­ber 1950 he re-en­listed the next day.

Six months later he found him­self aboard HMT Dunera head­ing for Ja­pan as a pre­lude to a year-long in­volve­ment in the Korean War.

His fi­nal dis­charge from the army was on 16 April 1952.

He had started a re­la­tion­ship with Linda Pel­man from Kin­lochleven a cou­ple of years ear­lier.

They mar­ried in 1953 and their only child, Craig, was born that same year.

Af­ter Bobby MacKen­zie re­joined the Bri­tish Alu­minium Com­pany, he lived with Linda and Craig in a coun­cil pre­fab at 5 Mor­ri­son Cres­cent, Kin­lochleven for the next nine years.

In the early 1960s, Linda’s fa­ther An­gus Pel­man spent some months in Mel­bourne stay­ing with his old­est son, Hec­tor. When he re­turned from Aus­tralia he an­nounced that he was mi­grat­ing to Mel­bourne and that he was of­fer­ing the MacKen­zies the chance to mi­grate with him.

That of­fer was read­ily ac­cepted and An­gus, wife Mary Pel­man and the MacKen­zies ar­rived in Mel­bourne on board the P&O Line’s Ori­ana on 21 De­cem­ber 1963.

Two years later, the manda­tory res­i­dency pe­riod for mi­grants ex­pired and An­gus and Mary Pel­man re­turned to Onich.

They sold their house at 7 Con­nors Street, Highett to the MacKen­zies who were to live there for the next 38 years.

Bobby MacKen­zie worked as a process worker for var­i­ous com­pa­nies be­fore join­ing Dun­lop Bat­ter­ies for 21 years mostly work­ing in the ware­house.

His Korean War in­volve­ment played a piv­otal role in the tim­ing of his re­tire­ment.

Hav­ing been in a theatre of war along­side Aus­tralians he was able to re­tire when he was 60 with a pen­sion from Aus­tralia’s Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs.

Reg­u­lar vis­its back home were now high on the agenda and Linda, Bobby and Craig re­turned to Kin­lochleven for a three-month hol­i­day in 1990 and toured Scot­land ex­ten­sively.

On Thurs­day, 21 Novem­ber 1991, Linda MacKen­zie was struck by a van when cross­ing the road in Welling­ton, New Zealand on the first day of a fort­night hol­i­day to visit rel­a­tives.

She was in an in­duced coma for nine days and was passed fit to fly back to Mel­bourne al­most two months later. A 10-month pe­riod of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­lowed.

The MacKen­zie fam­ily re­turned to Kin­locheven three more times in the 1990s but re­ceived a body blow in the late part of that decade when Linda was di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia.

In 2003, the MacKen­zies sold up in Mel­bourne and re­lo­cated to Kin­lochleven. That lasted for five weeks be­fore they moved into a rel­a­tive’s house in Glen­coe.

They be­came dis­en­chanted with the health ser­vices on of­fer for by now Bobby MacKen­zie was bat­tling men­tal ill­ness and Linda’s de­men­tia had wors­ened.

They re­turned to Mel­bourne in Septem­ber 2003 to a rented flat be­fore buy­ing a house in Car­rum Downs in Fe­bru­ary 2004.

Shortly af­ter Bobby was di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

On 15 Oc­to­ber 2008, Linda went into per­ma­nent care at For­est Lodge in an ad­join­ing sub­urb and died on 22 De­cem­ber 2010.

Bobby’s Parkin­son’s dis­ease wors­ened and se­vere mo­bil­ity dis­or­der forced him into a lo­cal aged care fa­cil­ity on 6 July 2012.

He died from heart fail­ure af­ter con­tract­ing pneu­mo­nia.

He is sur­vived by Craig and sis­ters Chrissie, Jean and Ann.

Chrissie (now 101) and Jean are in Abbey­field in Bal­lachul­ish while Ann lives in Welling­ton.

Bobby and Linda MacKen­zie in the early 1950s.

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