Real Lives: Departing doc hailed by patients and colleagues

Patients have bade a fond farewell to retiring Linlithgow Health Centre GP Dr Ken MacKenzie.

Dr MacKenzie has hung up his white coat after almost 30 years treating the locals of Linlithgow.

Ken, 59, who stays in Baronshill Avenue with wife Penny, also 59, has no big plans for his retirement, and is quite happy to enjoy time with his family, including sons Alasdair, David, and Gregor, and grandchildren, one-year-old Amy and 15-month-old Nairn.

He first worked in Greenock, Dunfermline and Bangour Hospital before he took up residency as a GP at the health centre, which was then at the Vennel.

Born in Edinburgh, Ken spent a few years in Caithness, where his father was a minister, before the family moved to Bellshill and then to Burntisland.

He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and since then has combined his profession with a variety of interests, including rugby.

For around six years in the 1990s, Ken was the Scottish team doctor and he said: “I enjoyed it very much.”

Ken is also a keen Rotarian, is a Boys’ Brigade captain, and has been involved with Linlithgow Link, Abbeyfield and St Michael’s Parish Church among other groups.

But it was none other than the Linlithgow Marches that proved his biggest challenge yet when he was asked to give a speech to the crowds at the Blackness marquee two years ago.


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He said: “The scariest thing I ever did was the speech at the Marches – but I’m glad I’ve done it now.”

Speaking about his retirement after three decades in the job, he added: “I’ll miss seeing the staff and my patients – you grow fond of them. I’d like to thank my colleagues for putting up with me, and the extended staff like the paramedics and nurses who are all very good. This will be very different for me.”

He also thanked his wife Penny, a former staff nurse at St Michael’s Hospital, who was also his on-call secretary for a time.

A Second World War veteran who lost a leg in the conflict has celebrated his 90th birthday.


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Dunbar war hero Willy Sanderson, a resident of Peverel Retirement development Belle-Vue Court, was joined by his fellow residents and close family and friends for the party.

Organised by house manager Doreen Chambers and the development’s social committee, there was an array of homemade cakes and drinks.

Willy was also given a picture drawn by a serving soldier as a special birthday gift from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Museum in Preston.

He was also visited by Deputy Lieutenant of East Lothian Stephen Bunyan, who passed on his birthday wishes.


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After Willy returned from the war having lost a leg, he learned how to make surgical boots, which over time developed into a long-standing business within the local community of Cockburnspath village.

Doreen said: “Willy is a truly inspiring person and is always in good spirits. To have lost his leg in the war and then go on to building a successful local business, which he worked at until he was 70, is an extraordinary achievement.”