THE OLDEST MONK at Ampleforth Abbey, Fr Ian Wilfrid Mackenzie, died last week aged 93. His death was marked by the ringing of the death knell, one toll for each year of his life, in accordance with the tradition of Ampleforth Abbey.
Fr Wilfrid was the last monk at Ampleforth to have known all seven abbots. The first, Abbot Oswald Smith, died in 1924, shortly after the 13-yearold Ian arrived at the school.
Born in Madras, India, in September 1911, he was educated at Ampleforth College, and joined the Benedictine Community there in 1930, taking the name Wilfrid. After studying Geography and Latin at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, he was ordained priest in 1939.
He served in a number of parishes served by monks from Ampleforth, starting in Cardiff in 1943, then Workington, Cumbria; Warrington, Cheshire; Easingwold, York, and Brindle, Leyland and Lostock Hall in Lancashire.