- 1907-2015 (Creation)
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George Yule Mackie, Lord Mackie of Benshie was born on 10th July 1919 on the family farm at Tarves, Aberdeenshire. He was a Liberal Democrat peer (1974-2015), Chairman of the Scottish Liberal Party (1965-1970) and former Liberal MP for Caithness and Sutherland (1964-1966), a pilot and Squadron Leader during World War Two and Rector of the University of Dundee in the 1980s.
Mackie flew over 70 missions with bomber command, being awarded the DSO and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1944 he married Lindsay Lyall Sharp, and they settled at Ballinshoe Farm, Benshie, near Kirriemuir in Angus. Initially concentrating on arable farming, Mackie diversified into farming pigs, cattle and fruit. From the 1960s he also developed several businesses in the Highlands, including Caithness Glass at Wick, then Perth, The Tongue Hotel on the Pentland Firth and the Braeroy Estate near Fort William.
Having first contested South Angus in 1959, Mackie was elected Member of Parliament for Caithness and Sutherland in 1964. In the Commons he served as Scottish Liberal whip. He lost his seat in 1966, when he was defeated by Labour candidate Robert Maclennan. Maclennan eventually became a senior Social Democrat Party/Liberal Democrat politician in the 1980s. Mackie contested Caithness and Sutherland again in 1970, but lost by a wider margin.
Having been Chair of the Scottish Liberal Party from 1965 to 1970, he was its President between 1983 and 1988. Having been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1971, Mackie was given a life peerage, as Baron Mackie of Benshie of Kirriemuir in the County of Angus on 10 May 1974. In the House of Lords, he served as Agriculture and Scottish Affairs spokesman for the Liberals and their successor parties between 1975 and 2000. From 1986 to 1997 he served on the Council of Europe.
Between 1980 and 1983, he was elected as Rector of the University of Dundee. Mackie was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1982.
Mackie and Lindsay had three daughters, and a son who died young. Lindsay died in 1985 and in 1988 Mackie married Jacqueline Lane, the widow of a partner in one of his hotel ventures. Lord Mackie died in 2015 at the age of 95 years old.
Sources: MS 404; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11418362/Lord-Mackie-of-Benshie-obituary.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mackie,_Baron_Mackie_of_Benshie; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/17/lord-mackie-of-benshie
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