Lex MacKenzie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Addison Alexander Mackenzie)
Jump to: navigation, search
A.A. MacKenzie
Ontario MPP
In office
1945–1967
Preceded by George Herbert Mitchell
Succeeded by William Hodgson
Constituency York North
Personal details
Born (1885-11-01)November 1, 1885
Woodbridge, Ontario
Died May 13, 1970(1970-05-13) (aged 84)
Brampton, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative
Occupation Farmer
Military service
Allegiance Canadian
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1904-1918
Rank Major
Unit 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles (CEF)
Battles/wars Battle of the Somme, Vimy Ridge
Awards Military Cross

Addison Alexander "A.A." MacKenzie, MC (November 1, 1885 – May 13, 1970) was a Canadian politician, who represented York North in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1945 to 1967 as a Progressive Conservative member.

Background[edit]

MacKenzie was born in Woodbridge, Ontario on a farm that was originally a land grant to his great-grandfather. He was educated in Woodbridge and then worked at a variety of jobs across the country.[1]

In 1914, at the start of World War I, he enlisted in the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles and quickly rose to the rank of Major, due to his previous experience serving in the militia.

During the Battle of the Somme, Mackenzie led a reconnaissance party to observe the effects of the artillery fire and later led his men and assaulted the Germans positions. His efforts that day would earn him the Military Cross.[2] The citation read: "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He carried out a daring reconnaissance of the enemy's wire in daylight. Later he led his Company with great courage and determination, greatly assisting the bombers by sniping the enemy as they brought up reinforcements."

MacKenzie went on to participate in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, leading the 4th company. During the action he was hit by shrapnel from an artillery shell and was seriously wounded.[2] After the battle, he praised the men of his command, "What I say about our Toronto boys is true in every other branch of the army. We fought Monday, not for cities, but for Canada. Every Canadian battalion did well."[3] His wounds were serious enough that he spent the rest of the war behind the front lines. He returned to farming after the war. Every Thanksgiving he held a turkey dinner for his neighbours.[1]

Politics[edit]

He developed an interest in politics and served on Woodbridge Town Council before running for provincial office.

He ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate in York North in 1943 but was defeated by CCF member, George Mitchell.[4] In 1945 he ran again, this time defeating Mitchell.[5]

He served as a backbench member of the house for the next 22 years, finally retiring in 1967. He was not known as a strong speaker having made only two speeches but was remembered as a strong advocate for his riding constituents.[1]

Later life[edit]

After retiring from politics, MacKenzie sat on the Board of the Metropolitan Toronto Conservation Authority and he was a charter member of the Woodbridge Horticultural Society. Just before his death he was on his way to Peel Memorial Hospital when his ambulance was slowed by a parade. Upon learning who was in the ambulance, the marching pipers insisted on escorting him to the hospital.[1]

In recognition of his long public serve, Major Mackenzie Drive, a main east-west thoroughfare in York Region, and Alexander Mackenzie High School, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, were named after him, as is Royal Canadian Legion Branch 414, in Woodbridge, Ontario.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "A. A. Mackenzie: War hero was MPP for 22 years". The Globe and Mail. May 14, 1970. p. 3. 
  2. ^ a b "Capt. MacKenzie wounded". The Toronto Daily Star. April 16, 1917. p. 3. 
  3. ^ "Maj. A. A. MacKenizie tells of Toronto battalions at Vimy". The Toronto Daily Star. April 19, 1917. p. 2. 
  4. ^ Canadian Press (August 5, 1943). "Ontario Election Results". The Gazette. Montreal. p. 12. 
  5. ^ Canadian Press (June 5, 1945). "How Ontario Electors Voted in all 90 Ridings". The Toronto Daily Star. Toronto. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 

External links[edit]