Ken MacKenzie

House and Years at Fettes:
Kimmerghame 1969–1974

Qualifications and career:
Since leaving Fettes I have worked for ICI, gone to University as a mature student and gained an MA in Marketing, then worked for Newel Rubbermaid and am currently working for a Japanese company called Pentel, employed as a Director for their holding company in Europe, responsible for the commercial activities of 6 operating companies throughout Europe. My career has covered mainly sales and marketing of fast moving consumer goods. In 1999 I was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
It’s difficult to isolate a single memory. The ones that I cherish the most mainly have to do with the achievements that I was able to make – unfortunately those were more about the sports field rather than the classroom – but in most cases I had to work quite hard for them and even then, luck played a good part!

And your least?
That’s easy – standing outside the Headmasters study (Dr. McIntosh) wondering if I was about to be expelled due to an excursion off site without permission. Fortunately it turned out well (for me at least) and the warning was heeded!

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
There were many characters that I had the good fortune to meet and most made quite an impression. The Person I really marvelled at was Anthony Chenevix-Trench. To have survived Changi and the Burma railroad and to have kept his humanity was something very special. It saddened me greatly all that was written about him after his death, the man I knew was a huge inspiration to me and someone whom I will always remember with great respect and affection.

Additionally I was very fortunate to be attending Fettes during celebrations of its Centenary Year and also played in a number of “Centenary” rugby matches, which again was something quite special.

Were you a conscientious student?
Regrettably, my scholastic achievements were at best, mediocre (the word “mediocre” juxtaposed to “effort” cropped up frequently in my reports). Thankfully though, Fettes was an organisation that believed in a holistic nurturing of its students and there were some rare occasions and circumstances where I could have justifiably been called “conscientious”.

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
One of the great benefits of attending Fettes was that there was so much going on all the time with access to many places. Much of my free time in the winter months was spent training (from the age of 15 onwards I developed a passion for Rugby, but also spent a lot of time playing other “minor sports” as they were called). During the summer I would be found roaming various Edinburgh sites, once they had got me out of the swimming pool or squash courts.