Dr Sandy Mackenzie 1929 - 2008
Before retirement, by profession, Sandy was a local general practitioner at the Garland Place Surgery but to members of Dundee Astronomical Society he was, for many years, an astrophotographer and practical astronomer with the gift of conveying his huge enthusiasm to everyone who listened to his many presentations.
From a young age Sandy had been interested in astronomy and, like so many amateur astronomers of that age, constructed telescopes from bits and pieces. His very practical nature and the precision with which he developed everything he did made the then difficult skill of astrophotography a perfect challenge for him. On acquiring a Celestron 8 telescope, he set about taking a series of photographs which were outstanding, especially considering his light polluted observing site. Many of these photographs were enlarged and gifted to Mills Observatory where they still grace the stairway. One of the images of which he was most proud was that of Quasar 3C 273. This was the most distant object he had ever photographed at 2,000 million light years.
Sandy joined Dundee Astronomical Society in 1985 and became Director of Observations in 1992. Sandy’s spirited monthly sky notes will be remembered by all who heard them and no-one can possibly forget his final words every month when he urged members to 'Go, make discovery of the Universe!’. He held that post until the 2003/04 season when he stood down but retained committee membership until the AGM of 2007. Sandy gave many presentations relating to his astrophotograhic methods to the DAS and at combined meetings with the Stirling Society. He also spoke at meetings of the Scottish Astronomers Group. In recognition of his long service to the Dundee Astronomical Society in his various roles, he was awarded Honorary Membership in 2006.
Sandy's humour at meetings and his enthusiasm and willingness to help all those struggling with any aspect of equipment or photography will be sadly missed.