McKenzie – Edith Emily 1895-1991

Edith Emily (Doreen) McKenzie was born in 1895 in Hora Hora in rural New Zealand (which I think is now part of Whangarei). Because she was the 7th Edith in her small rural district, and as she said “Emily was a cow’s name”, she was called Doreen all her life. That district was full of scottish immigrants, and very into patronymic nicknames, so she was called Doreen Hector Tanner most of her life, even though her official surname was McKenzie. There is a picture of Doreen as a young child with her family.

Her father (Hector) was a tanner (inheriting the business from his father (Tanner)), and she had one sister Marjorie. In their teens, they used to join their father during school holidays on what would now be known as business trips – riding a horse going around all the little settlements in Northland buying good skins from butchers.

Education: Awarded a free place at Whangerei High School in 1909, after coming 14th in New Zealand in the junior scholarship exams at the end of 1908. [1][2] Certificate of proficiency at the end of 1910 – 3407 out of 5150. Came 10th in Northland and Auckland, in the senior scholarship exam (top girl) which wasn’t enough to get a university scholarship. (top 4 in the region awarded scholarships) Family lore says that the family banded together to send her to university anyway, but she decided against it and became a teacher.

The first item she bought for herself was a piano [this part needs confirmation].

Married: William Robert Lang, 24 Jan 1924

Remembrance from her granddaughter Jennifer Lang [3]

Known as Doreen. She was baptised by T.P.N. Hewlett at ‘Clifton’.

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