Ian MacKenzie: local newspaper journalist in Kent and South London

Veteran local newspaper journalist Ian MacKenzie – whose career spanned more than 40 years in the Kent and South London areas – died on 24 April in the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, Kent, aged 84 following a routine operation.

MacKenzie, of Bromley, Kent, was editor of the now-defunct South London Observer in Camberwell; the News Shopper based in Orpington; and district editor for Epsom and Ewell for the Croydon Advertiser series.

He was also senior production journalist with the Kentish Times group and editor of the in-house newspaper Nestlé News.

His career included spells at the Westerham News and the Thanet Gazette.

During the Second World War, he was a prisoner-of-war in Saigon for nearly four years, an experience that was to be the subject of a moving book that he wrote on the subject.

Until his death, he was London secretary of the Far East POWs Association.

He was married twice – first to the journalist Mary MacKenzie, and then to second wife Lorna for 30 years.

He had three sons – Kelvin, chairman and chief executive of the Wireless Group; Craig, editor-in-chief of the Irish editions of the Daily Mirror; and Drew, who owns and runs his own news and showbusiness agency in New York.

Kelvin MacKenzie said: “I have lost a great father. Apart from being a fine journalist, my dad had a natural coaching ability and I know there are literally hundreds of journalists around today who have benefited from his skill and guidance.”

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