-by Rankin MacDonald
He cared deeply about the people of Inverness County and all through his life he found ways to help them.
At his home in Belle Coté on Tuesday, July 18th, at 82 years, John Archie MacKenzie passed away in the loving company of his family.
John Archie’s blood wasn’t red, it was crimson; for there was, or is, no one who can say their loyalty to the Liberal party was greater than this former MLA.
And he loved politics. Whenever you happened to be in his company you were guaranteed a half hour at least talking about the politics of the day and of course he would point out just what those other political parties were doing wrong.
In his political career he was know as a “grass-roots” politician who deeply cared for and was proud to represent the voters of his constituency.
It was they he worked for.
John Archie was born in Piper’s Glen in 1934, the second youngest of 13 children of which only Annie Jane Gillis is still with us.
He graduated from Holy Family High in Inverness, went on to get degrees from St. F.X. and Nova Scotia Teachers College, and spent 26 years in schools in Belle Coté and Margaree.
It was as a student teacher at Margaree Forks where he became reacquainted with Dorothy LeBlanc and they would have celebrated their 55th anniversary in August.
They raised five children, Gerard, Colleen, Charlotte, Glenn, and Monica.
“He was a people person”, said Dorothy. “He wanted to help people and was always interested in politics even at ST. F.X.”
John Archie was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1970 to represent the Riding of Inverness until 1981 when it became Inverness North. He represented the new riding until 1984.
Years later he ran for county council but his political life was already in the past.
He spoke Gaelic as a first language and always enjoyed talking to people in both Gaelic and English wherever he met them or at their homes or his. He loved visiting and visitors.
John Archie served as President of the North Inverness Local of the Teacher’s Union, served on the Board of Directors for Margaree Co-op, Margaree Credit Union, Scared Heart Hospital, Cheticamp Arena, Central Inverness Palliative Care and Cancer Care Nova Scotia, was an active palliative care volunteer, and was always available when someone was needed to sit with a patient, and he spent countless hours doing so. He was a past member of the Margaree Volunteer Fire Department, and was the 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
It was sad to see John Archie with Alzheimer’s because he loved to have a good conversation about what was going on in our county. We can live in the comfort of knowing that he was one of the best of us and that he cared for the people he knew and that seemed to be everyone in Inverness County.
He was laid to rest from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in East Margaree on Saturday.
Share this article
Join the conversation