Clutha Mackenzie

Clutha Mackenzie in 1931

Sir Clutha Nantes Mackenzie (11 February 1895 – 30 March 1966) was a New Zealand politician and worker for the blind. He was briefly a Reform Party Member of Parliament.


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1921–1922 20th Auckland East Reform

A son of Sir Thomas Mackenzie, who was High Commissioner in London and was previously a Liberal politician (and Prime Minister in 1912), he enlisted in the Army in World War I.[1] He was blinded at Chunak Bair during the Gallipoli campaign and was sent to the No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames to convalesce.[2] At the hospital he was one of the patients of his sister Mary, who was a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment here.[3] After recovering he was sent to the live with other blind soldiers in a house in Portland before attending St Dunstan's, the Institute for the Bling Soldiers and Sailors.[3] At the institute he learnt Braille as well as how to type.

He was active in organisations for the blind; he was attached to the UN and was Chairman of the World Braille Council. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1935 New Year Honours.[4] Later that year he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[5]

Mackenzie won the Auckland East electorate in a 1921 by-election[6] after the resignation of Arthur Myers,[7] but was defeated in the next election in 1922 by John A. Lee.[8]

Mackenzie died in Auckland in 1966,[9] and his ashes were buried in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery.[10]

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