1935-2021 ~ Following a short battle with cancer Sandy Mackenzie passed away peacefully.
Sandy led an extraordinary life of adventure. Born in Tain, Scotland, he immigrated to Canada as a fur trader with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1953, stationed first at Bear Island on Lake Temagami. Over the next few years as Sandy worked at a variety of HBC postings, and he developed a deep kinship with the First Nations people.
In 2011 Sandy returned to the communities of Bear Island and Moose Factory and was reunited with many of the people who had welcomed him when he began his life in Canada and he remained in regular communication with these old friends, still talking to them on the phone in his final week.
In the 1960’s Sandy left the life of an HBC Factor to become a commercial bush pilot in Canada’s High Arctic, first with Bradley Air Services and then with Northward Aviation. Landing on floats, skis and wheels Sandy flew to some of the most remote places on earth.
His intimate knowledge of the high arctic and respect for the Inuit people who lived there were paramount to his post aviation business success in logistical support for petroleum exploration and later site remediation with PanArctic, Dome Petroleum, Petro Canada and Suncor among his major clients.
Anyone who had the good fortune to know Sandy was struck by his optimism, his curiosity, his generosity, his legendary sense of humour and without a doubt was held spellbound by his captivating stories of life as a modern-day courier de bois.
From the traplines of Moose Factory to the Inuit hamlet of Grise Fiord, this native son of Scotland experienced and embraced the vastness of Canada, a land of hope and opportunity, and we are all the richer for it.
Sandy’s achievements were possible because of the love and support of his wife May. They had almost 60 wonderful years of life together and enjoyed a long retirement in White Rock and finally Oak Bay B.C. with plenty of travel, winters in Arizona and time spent with family.
Celebrating his life but mourning his loss are his wife May, daughters Isobel, Linda and Marilyn, his grandchildren, great grandchildren and sister Elizabeth. He was a dynamic and vital presence in the life of his family and his passing leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. We will gather to remember Sandy when it is safe to do so.
Messages for the family can be sent to email@example.com