a family story

John Roxborogh

Roderick (Rodney) McKenzie

Roderick was born in Waipawa on 8 June 1875 and was named for his father but was known as Rodney. Like William he seems to have been fairly bright. Nevertheless he left school in 1889 before sitting the Standard Six Examination.             As with Alexander, very little is known of his life or of him as a person. When Helen was married in 1892 he was one of the witnesses. At that time he was living with his mother at Kaikora North (Otane) and working as a labourer.

      His niece Mary Wildbore remembers him visiting the family at Apiti, and Len Beere recalls him appearing at their home in Kotemaori.
        During the Depression he lived for a year with his younger brother George and his wife Nita. Their daughter Peg Coyle remembers that he had pure white hair and that he was the image of George in appearance. He seemed to come from nowhere, out of the mists as it were. A secret person who would be there for a while and then without any warning roll up his blanket and fade away - his departure in the night as mysterious as his coming. Again we would like to know more. Was he a swagger? A poet? A philosopher? A man unto himself?