‘A caring person”, that’s how the late Sir Roy McKenzie (1922-2007) had wanted to be remembered. He is fondly recognised by Outward Bound, not just for being one of life’s true gentlemen, but for his unwavering support of our vision, providing financial assistance to a large number of students to attend Outward Bound courses.
Through Sir Roy’s belief in the untapped potential of New Zealand’s youth, the McKenzie name is truly embedded in the history of Outward Bound. He is remembered through the Roy McKenzie Lodge, McKenzie watchhouse and our support vessel, the ‘Sir Roy’.
Not only did he sponsor many young people, but as a result of his significant bequest left to the Outward Bound Foundation, his legacy of supporting those who would otherwise not have an opportunity to experience Outward Bound lives on.
The McKenzie name has been associated with philanthropy in NZ since the 1940s when Sir Roy’s father set up the JR McKenzie Trust. In 1962 the Trust was a key sponsor in the original establishment of Outward Bound at Anakiwa, and since then has also provided much needed support to many financially disadvantaged young people.
Connected to the JR McKenzie Trust is the JR McKenzie Youth Education Trust, administered by the six Rotary Districts in New Zealand. This Trust makes small grants to individuals and families for children’s education-related costs, as well as providing Sir Roy McKenzie Scholarships to young people attending Outward Bound.
Conin Whakatihi attended a Classic course with a Sir Roy McKenzie Scholarship. Since returning from Outward Bound, Conin has enrolled in University and has a greater sense of belonging to the community and service:
I think one of the main lessons I have learnt from OB, was how to keep a positive attitude, even when things are heading downhill. Furthermore, I gained the determination and confidence I wanted to gain from the course. OB definitely reinforced the idea of service too. Before OB I was hesitant about what I really wanted to do and was too afraid to take risks and explore the things I may or may not enjoy.
Outward Bound has taught me everything we do is to better help others. If you’re not trying to better yourself you’re not doing anything. Everything that is hard or tough is good because it’s a challenge and it’ll cause you to grow. I challenge myself now as much as I can.
The McKenzie family’s support of Outward Bound also comes through the Wellington-based investment company Rangatira Limited, founded in 1937. Today Rangatira is 51% owned by the JR McKenzie Trust, with other community and charitable organizations, including Outward Bound, owing a further 15% of its shares. The balance of shares is held by private investors, including the McKenzie family.
The dividends Outward Bound receives from its Rangatira shareholding have been significant, enabling us to set up long term strategies for supporting low socio economic communities across New Zealand from this dividend stream.
Through the generosity and foresight of Sir Roy, the ongoing support of the Trustees of the J R McKenzie Trust and the Board and Management of Rangatira, thousands of young New Zealanders have come to realise their true potential and go on to make a positive contribution to New Zealand society.
We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the McKenzie family.