Lawrence attended McKenzie Avenue School in the original 1912 building and was a student at the time of the 1934 fire. He remembers the day he arrived at school, June 1, 1934, to find the building burned to the ground. He attended our 100th Anniversary celebrations and also, as a WWII veteran, was invited to speak to the students at our 2012 Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Sadly, Lawrence passed away in 2016 but his great granddaughter is now a student at McKenzie!
Mr. Berod is our oldest living former principal, having served at McKenzie School from 1960 to 1971. He is very fondly remembered for his time here playing the ukulele and leading a student ukulele band, and also for his love of bow ties. Ron attended the Centennial Celebration in May 2012 and, as guest of honour, cut the cake together with our youngest kindergarten student.
Roy Baker-Falkner was a pupil at McKenzie back in the 1920s. He later went on to be one of the top navy pilots anywhere in the British Commonwealth, took part in the Dunkirk evacuation where he was ordered to attack enemy tanks in flimsy pre-war biplanes. He became one of only a handful of Canadian Battle of Britain pilots (and the only one from the Navy) nightly flying over enemy territory in a Fairey Swordfish biplane aircraft laying mines or attacking enemy shipping and enemy airfields. He went on to become a test pilot flying all the new American and Canadian built naval aircraft entering service at the time.
He subsequently became front page newspaper news in July 1944 when he attacked the German battleship Tirpitz (the sister ship of the dreaded Bismarck) off enemy occupied Norway in his Fairey Barracuda dive bomber. His actions paved the way for D-day and the liberation of Europe to go ahead. Then, only a few short weeks later he volunteered to fly in impossibly difficult weather in Arctic conditions to protect the Fleet with in excess of 15,000 naval personnel from over 15 U-boats which were about to attack them. Sadly he was killed and his body was never found but the Fleet safely reached home without any further losses.