Colin MacKenzie
Served from 1970 - 1979
D.C. Colin MacKenzie


I was born in India in 1946, and spent my first 8 years there. My father was a Major with one of the Gurkha Regiments fighting in Assam at the time. My mother was a nurse and they met in Assam. After the war my father remained in India and was manager of a large tea plantation in northern India. My first school was St Christopher's in Darjeeling and I could gaze out on Mount Everest from my school window. During my childhood I could speak Hindi with my parents.

In 1955 I was sent to boarding school at Dollar Academy, near Stirling, in Scotland. What a shock that was. It was quite a contrast from the heat of India to the cold of Scotland! While at Dollar Academy I was introduced to rugby and played for the School 2nd XV, and also represented the school at cross-country, tennis and cricket. My art teacher, Adam Robson, and gym teacher Ron Glasgow, were both Scottish International rugby players at that time.

I left school in 1964 to work as a Police Cadet in the then East Sussex Constabulary. My Aunt was the first policewoman to be hired by that force and so she was instrumental in getting me on to the Force. I took part in the usual Outward Bound course, and also volunteered as an assistant supervisor at a home for first-time offenders near Derby, England. I continued as a bobby with Sussex Police and this is where I really picked up on my rugby training, eventually representing both the Sussex Police and the Brighton Rugby Club.

I left the Sussex Police in 1970 for Bermuda, arriving on June 23 with two other former Bermuda Police Officers, Paul Hendrick and Ian Ackroyd. Stepping off the BOAC plane I was met by Sgt. Dick Murphy, Pat McBride and Willie McCracken. I was stationed at first in Hamilton before being transferred to Traffic and then to Special Branch. I continued playing rugby and represented the Police 1st XV and Bermuda. Many thanks go to Peter Stubbs (SB at the time) for giving me the time off to play rugby! And many thanks to Crawford Rae (Manager of the PRC at the time) for introducing me to squash - a game that I still play today.

Members of Special Branch
Colin is at top left on the back row

While with Special Branch I was assigned to bodyguard duties during civil unrest in the early 70s. I was then assigned to the Airport where I worked with John Graham, Ron Wallace, Keith Pellow, Brian Foster, Alistair Reid, Barry Mancell, Les Pearson, Peter McNulty, Steve Bond, Winston Esdaille and Alex Arnfield.

Members of S.B wait to greet a VIP at the airport
Colin escorts H.R.H. Prince Phillip during Royal Visit in 1978

I lived in Devonshire, renting an apartment from Frank "Briggy" and June Baron, my good friends whom I considered my adopted "parents" at the time. They really looked after me and they are such a great couple. While in Bermuda I completed an application to obtain Bermuda status but never submitted it, and yes, initially I had regrets about it.

In October 1979 left Bermuda to pursue a challenge that came my way in private investigations near Toronto, Canada. My duties included the investigation of general insurance fraud, including motor vehicle fatalities, suspected arson, serious injury accidents, (some injuries were a fraud and fraudulent claims were made against insurance carriers), and missing persons. In 1983 I received my Canadian citizenship

In 1984 I left the private investigation business and obtained employment with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto as an investigator. In 2000 I then obtained employment with the Ministry of Consumer Services, investigating marketplace fraud. I worked there as a lead investigator and Acting Manager, supervising a team of 15 investigators until I retired on October 31, 2011, after 27 years in public service.

I am married to Laura and we have two older children and 2 grandchildren. We are now living in Peterborough, Ontario, about an hour east of Toronto, and I’m enjoying being a Rotary member, enjoy photography, poetry, general home repairs, squash, running, biking, hiking (from my days in Scotland) and, of course, some pints with good company!

Colin and Laura with granddaughter Lauren

I have such great and fond memories of Bermuda and the friendships I made. How time flies. My father always said that it’s not that life is so short, it’s just we take so long to live it.

Recent photograph of Colin
Longer hair at the back - shorter at the front!

Published in May 2012.