MacKENZIE, JOHN GEORGE DELHOSTE (he signed MacKenzie; Mackenzie and McKenzie are also frequently used), Church of England clergyman and educator; b. 22 April 1822, at St Ann’s Garrison, Bridgetown, Barbados, son of Captain John MacKenzie, a Peninsular war veteran; d. 4 March 1873, at Stratford, Ont.
John George Delhoste MacKenzie came to Upper Canada in 1834 with his family, who settled near St Thomas. He attended schools in Trinidad, in England, and in Toronto (Upper Canada College). In 1839 he was tutor to the family of the Reverend Alexander Neil Bethune at Cobourg and assisted Bethune in editing the Church. He entered the Diocesan Theological Institution at Cobourg, was ordained deacon in 1845 and priest in 1846, received his ba from King’s College, Toronto, in 1849, and in 1853 was granted the first ma degree conferred by Trinity College in Toronto. From 1845 to 1856 he was incumbent of St Paul’s Church, Yorkville, and at the same time he was headmaster of St Paul’s Grammar School. He laboured in the parish of Georgetown and Norval, 1856–1859, and then removed to Hamilton where he took charge of a school attached to Christ’s Church.
John G. D. MacKenzie made solid contributions both to the church and to education. As a parish priest he gained the warm approval of Bishop A. N. Bethune, his lifelong friend, and of the congregations among whom he laboured. As a teacher he tried, in his two private schools, to incorporate religious with secular instruction at the secondary level. He was appointed inspector of grammar schools for Ontario in 1868. In this position, which he retained until his death, he earned praise from the Council of Public Instruction for his impartiality, faithfulness, and efficiency.
During his connection with the Church, MacKenzie wrote several sketches, one of which, “Paul of Samosata: a tale of the ancient Syrian church,” appearing in the newspaper in 1844, combined elements of history and imagination. Two funeral sermons delivered in Toronto were printed in 1852, and selections from other sermons were published posthumously in 1882 with a memoir written by Bishop Bethune and an appendix composed of extracts from MacKenzie’s reports to the provincial education department from 1868 to 1871. The sermons are scriptural expositions of a high order; the reports illustrate his ideals in educational matters and his accurate observation of the schools which it was his duty to visit. Both sermons and reports are written in a lucid, polished English reflecting his classical training.
MacKenzie married in 1846 Catherine Eliza, eldest daughter of Marcus Crombie, headmaster of the Toronto grammar school, and they had several children.
PAO, John Strachan letter books; John Strachan papers. J. G. D. MacKenzie, A sermon, on the occasion of the death of Clarence Yonge Wells, preached October 20th, 1850, at St Paul’s Church, Toronto (Weymouth, Ont., 1852); [ ], Selection from sermons of the late Rev. J. G. D. Mackenzie . . . with memoir (Toronto, 1882). J. of education for Ont., XXVI (1873), 58–59. Synod of the Church of England, Diocese of Toronto, Journal, 1876. Church Herald (Toronto), 13 March 1874. The roll of pupils of Upper Canada College, Toronto, January 1830, to June 1916, ed. A. H. Young (Kingston, Ont., 1917). Trinity University Review (Toronto), XV (1902), 85–86.