Nova Scotia-born Major General Lewis MacKenzie joined The Queen’s Own as a young officer in September 1960, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and posted to 2 QOR of C in Calgary as a Platoon Commander and Intelligence Officer. Late 1961 he was posted to Germany to 1 QOR of C as Platoon Commander and Unit Sports Officer. In 1963 he was posted to Canadian Base Unit Middle East with UNEF in the Gaza Strip as Sports Officer for Canadian Contingent. In 1964 posted to 1QOR of C in Victoria (Platoon Commander, Recce Platoon Commander), 1965 to Cyprus with 1QOR of C (Recce Platoon Commander), 1967 posted as Exchange Officer to 2nd Bn the Queen’s Regiment, 10th Armd Brigade in Lemgo West Germany and promoted Captain. From there, in 1969, he spent a six month tour at Headquarters Force Mobile Canada (FMC) in Montreal and thence to Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston and was rebadged Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) while on course.
Major General MacKenzie served in Germany with NATO forces, did nine tours of peacekeeping in the Gaza Strip, Cyprus, Vietnam, Cairo, Central America and Sarajevo and in 1990 was appointed commander of the UN’s Observer mission in Central America. Two years later he was assigned to the UN’s Protection Force in Yugoslavia, eventually commanding soldiers from 31 countries that opened the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid during the height of the Bosnian civil war. His account of his military experiences, Peacekeeper, Road to Sarajevo, became a best seller in 1993. He retired after 36 years in the military in 1993, and now is active as a writer and public speaker. For relaxation, he races open-wheel sports cars.