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McKENZIE, Charles John, C.B.E. (1878 - 1942)

Charles John McKenzie

Charles John McKenzie (1878-1942). Past Presidents Album, 1914-1966, IPENZ.

Charles McKenzie was born in Dunedin on 6th August, 1878, was educated at the State School and Otago Boys' High School, L885-96, and was an Engineering Cadet in the Public Works Department from 1897 - 1901. 1n the latter year he was appointed an Assistant Engineer and posted to the North Island Main Trunk Railway, until March, 1909, when he was transferred to Stratford. There he acted for nine months as District Engineer in charge of the Taranaki Public Works District, which included the Stratford Main Trunk and Mount Egmont Branch railways, surveys and construction. In April 1910, he was appointed Resident Engineer for the same district.

Three years later he was transferred to the Public Works Department Head Office in Wellington as Office Engineer, assisting the Engineer-in-Chief and acting, as Inspecting Engineer as required. He was appointed District Engineer, Dunedin, in 1915, and the area covered by that district was increased to include Southland. Thence he was transferred to Wellington in 1919 as Staff Engineer, and in the following year was appointed Inspecting Engineer, but after holding that position for only fifteen days he was promoted to Assistant Engineer-in-Chief. On 1st November 1932, he became Engineer-in-Chief and Under-Secretary of the Department. He retired in 1938.

Mr McKenzie investigated irrigation and engineering methods overseas on behalf of the New Zealand Government in 1925, and in 1928 was Chairman of a special investigating committee set up by Government to report on irrigation in Central Otago. He was a member, and for a term Chairman, of the Main Highways Board.

Mr McKenzie was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1916, and a Member of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers in September, 1914. He was elected a Vice-President in 1926, was President in the following year (1927-28), and served as a Member of Council from 1928 - 1931.

Extract from the Proceedings of NZIE, Vol. 28 No 4 (Jan 1943), p229.