Friday November 23, 2007 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall
Speaker: MAJOR GENERAL (ret’d) LEWIS MACKENZIE, CM, O Ont, MSC and Bar, CD
President, General MacKenzie Enterprises Inc.
Topic: Canada’s Peacekeeping Myth
Successive governments have perpetuated the myth that Canada invented peacekeeping and that it defines us as a nation in their own partisan self-interests. Lewis will trace the history of this deception and concurrently expose the sorry record of an outdated UN Security Council that continues to prove itself incapable of dealing effectively with issues of international peace and security. Having visited our troops in Afghanistan on two occasions and about to return for a third the retired general will discuss the mission and NATO’s inadequate response-to date.
General Lewis MacKenzie was born in Truro, Nova Scotia a long time ago. He is a graduate of Xavier Junior College of Sydney, Cape Breton and the University of Manitoba. During his thirty six years of military service in the Infantry he served nine years in Germany with NATO forces and managed to fit in nine peacekeeping tours of duty in six different mission areas – the Gaza Strip, Cyprus, Vietnam, Cairo, Central America and Sarajevo.
In 1990 General MacKenzie was appointed commander of the United Nation’s Observer mission in Central America. Two years later he was assigned to the United Nation’s Protection Force in Yugoslavia. In May of that year he created and assumed command of Sector Sarajevo and with a contingent of soldiers from 31 countries opened the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid during the height of the Bosnian civil war. As a result he became the only Canadian, military or civilian, to be awarded a second Meritorious Service Cross. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1993.
His personal account of his military experiences, “Peacekeeper, Road to Sarajevo”, became a number one best seller in 1993. A two hour TV documentary based on the book and hosted by the general was aired internationally and won a New York film festival award in 1997 Since his retirement from the military, Lew MacKenzie has been under contract to CTV and CBS and frequently appears on many of the international TV and radio networks as a commentator. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and is in demand as a lecturer on the subject of leadership. He currently chairs an international advisory board on homeland security.
Lew is active in motor racing having won numerous national and provincial titles in sports car and open wheel racing. He currently competes in selected professional races and the 12 race Ontario Formula Ford Championship. In 2004 he won his category at the 2000 km Targa Newfoundland and is the 2007 Ontario Formula Ford champion in the Diamond class.
Lew was made an Honorary Chief of the Metro Toronto Police Force in 1993. He holds Honorary Doctorates from numerous Canadian Universities and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Federation of AIDS Research. He was Tourism Canada’s Canadian of the Year in 1992 and he is an alumnus of the Maclean’s role of Honour. In 2002 and 2006 respectively he was invested with the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada for his humanitarian work in Africa.
Following the attacks of 11 September 2001 General MacKenzie was appointed one of two advisors to the Government of Ontario on counter-terrorism and emergency measures.
In spite of all the above, Dora MacKinnon of Baysville, Ontario is still married to the General. Their daughter Kimm, works, rides and resides in Ottawa.