Happy 70th Birthday William Mackenzie!


Wednesday the 1st of May 2013 is a day of note at Christian Focus Publications for seventy years ago our Managing Director and co-founder William Mackenzie was born. Yesterday we celebrated early with cake, a very robust singing of Happy Birthday, best wishes from friends, family and colleagues and a specially commissioned song.  Yes, you read that right – a song by Colin Buchanan, 7 times Golden Guitar winner, Australian T.V. Presenter, and Christian author. He was challenged to write a poem by one of the staff at Christian Focus, Derry Brebner and as usual went the extra mile, composed a song, made an mp3 recording – and here it is. Colin is a good friend of William’s, respects him highly but isn’t afraid to make a joke at the M.D.s expense! Enjoy.

 Willie’s 70th Song

Here are a few photos of William Mackenzie through the years.

Not only did we have a special song, but we had poetry too. Dale Ralph Davis and his wife Barbara sent along the following poem to help commemorate the special ocassion.

Ode to William on his 70th Birthday

Threescore and ten years ago—so runs the rumour—
heaven disclosed its own sense of humour
at the birth of a child neither peelie-wally nor sad,
in fact, a right robust and likely mischievous lad
born in ’43, in the midst of a war and hence
he’s kept things in a muckle big stir ever since,
and, although we rejoice he has been an object of grace
there are some traits neither heaven—nor Carine—can efface,
so here he is with rosy cheeks and a nature that’s new
and yet he may harbour hidden and devious plans for the future of you!
For surely he has a most lovable yet fearsome quirk
–Scots call it a ‘gliff’—of helping others find work
(if only Obama had William he wouldn’t be so solemn
for then unemployment would no longer be a problem)
and yet one has to admit: though he may allow you neither repose nor rest,
when it comes to taskmasters, he’s one of the best!
So…may your step not falter, may your hand stay steady
for whatever task the Lord says is ready
and we join with a host of others—otherwise, we’d be daft—
in wishing you more success in the Lord’s calling and craft.


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  • http://thebreadline.wordpress.com/ davidbissett

    Please convey my birthday wishes to William! HIs is a wonderful ministry! I once heard him speak in Minneapolis, and was deeply moved. Am very grateful for CFP too. Many blessings to you all in Christ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.steer Roger Steer

    Happy birthday William from Roger and Sheila Steer. We have happy memories of your visit to our cottage in Devon!

  • Liz Patten

    So enjoyed the song! The LORD bless you, William
    – and many more Happy Returns!

  • Peter Gadsby

    John Piper tweeted a ink to this page, and without reading the blurb I clicked on the PLAY button. Nearly fell of my chair laughing when I realized who was singing the song! Colin is, of course, something of an icon here in Oz. Wonderful that he sang this in honour of a man whom God has so used the bless the church all around the world!

  • David Murray

    Belated birthday greetings from Grand Rapids, MI. Thank you for the innumerable and immeasurable blessings your books have brought to my life and my family’s.

  • John & Julia Grier

    Congratulations and best wishes! Thank you for all that God has made you in our lives.

  • Douglas Kelly

    Happy 70th birthday to William Mackenzie from someone who will also turn 70 this year (in September) – what a vintage year was 1943! I praise the Lord for the grace and faith He has given you from very early days, and for the amazing Presbyterian family in which He placed you (as He did me similarly). He has sustained you to ‘threescore and ten’! It is wonderful to look back over both of our lives and know that while we are always far from perfect, by His grace we do not have the profound regrets of having wasted any years (it is the sheer grace of divine providence). In that regard, I remember going to hospital to visit one of my great-aunts, who at almost age 90, was nearing the end (about 1976); a bright Christian. When I entered her room, I was surprised to see her weeping. I said: ‘Aunt Regina, what is wrong?’ ‘Nothing’, she replied, ‘I have broken down in praise to the Lord for how He has enabled me by grace to keep on His side so many years’ That is what I wish for both William and myself!

    Has anyone said to you what a friend told me when I turned fifty? ‘Douglas, you do not look fifty. But I can remember when you did!’