A Life Long Learner

Written by Harold McNeill on October 30th, 2011. Posted in Biographies


The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.
-Mortimer J. Adler

That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.
Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever, 1984

A Lifelong Learner

Lynn Grad

October 28, 2011    This past Friday family and friends gathered at Camosun College to join in the celebration with fifteen hundred students who completed program studies ranging from full degrees to certification in various trades and career specialities. Among those being recognized was our very own Lynn Frances McNeill, a woman who is the very definition of a ‘lifelong learner’.

Born into an armed forces family (RCAF), Lynn was inspired at an early age to seek new challenges as she, her parents and four siblings (3 sisters and a brother) were transferred to bases in Canada and abroad. Settling in Canada, Lynn completed her formal education at the Lynn University GradUniversity Guelph eventually moving on to British Columbia. While working for the District of Campbell River, Lynn joined the RCMP as a civilian member where she accepted a secondment as an instructor, travelling throughout BC instructing members on the use of their new telecommunications systems. With a helicopter at their disposal, she also assisted the team of specialists installing mountain top satellite systems.

Photo:  University of Guelph, Grad Photo

Seeking to spend more time with her young son, Lynn joined the Oak Bay Police Department as Executive Secretary to the Chief of Police, eventually moving on to a position with the Greater Victoria Hospital Society where she continued to hone her considerable administrative skills.  Never one to back away from a serious challenge, in 1984 Lynn married Harold David McNeill.

When Glenlyon Norfolk School needed someone to oversee the merger of the administrative offices of the three, previously separate campuses, Lynn was tasked with the job. Following the merger, she continued as Office Manager and Board Executive Secretary where she worked closely with a succession of Headmasters. After a few years, Lynn began her own administrative business, contracting with the GNSS Board of Directors as the Board’s Executive Assistant.  For over twelve years, she remained an integral member of the GNS team.

Throughout this time, Lynn volunteered many hours as Deputy Director – Emergency Social Services in Saanich and as an Emergency Preparedness Instructor while also contributing as a volunteer member of the executive committees hosting various international soccer events in the Greater Victoria area.  Again, travel formed a large part of this volunteer experience.

When a new position became available at the BC Pension Corporation, Lynn jumped at the opportunity, continually upgrading and accepting new challenges within the organization.

At every step of her professional and personal life, Lynn has transformed the offices and organizations in which she has worked or volunteered by applying her incredible energy and organizational skills. The dances, picnics, children’s parties, bed races, sporting events, theme parties and dozens of other events she helped to organize, will long be remembered.

During those same years, a new passion bubbled to the top – travel planning.  Lynn has always been prevailed upon to complete travel plans, while at work for executive members and staff; at home for friends and family. It followed that upon her retirement from the Pension Corporation, Lynn would become a full-time travel planner as she and Harold back-packed around Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It was, of course, these travels that led Lynn to pursue her most recent challenge.

From January to June 2011, she completed an intensive Travel Counselling Course offered by Camosun College.  Graduating with honours, she received her Travel Counsellor’s certification as well as numerous other certificates that will serve to enrich travel experiences for all of her clients.

Today Lynn is an independent consultant with the Expedia Cruise Ship Centers, working out of the Bevan Street office in Sidney, BC. There she continues to expand her knowledge of the travel industry. Everyone who knows Lynn will agree that she always gives 100% to the task at hand and, for those who don’t know her, this fact will soon be recognized.

If you need help with your travel plans, be they by land, sea or air, just give Lynn a call at:
250 656-5441       Toll Free: 1-800-561-2350

Expedia email: lynnmcneill@cruiseshipcenters.com  or lynn@travelynn.ca
Or visit her website at:  www.cruiseshipcenters.ca/LynnMcNeill

Call Lynn and begin pursuing your vacation dreams.

Harold McNeill

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    […] If you happen to support Bill C-51, a bill that is related solely to ‘terrorism’ and, perhaps, support an even more invasive laws being included, what would you think about the entire Bill (present and proposed) being folded back into the Criminal Code and made applicable to every Canadian?  Would that give our police to much power to simply bypass checks and balances developed over the past 150 years. (Oversight) […]

  • Maurice Smook

    August 13, 2016 |

    Hi Jillian,

    I don’t know if you are still checking this site but I had to respond again. February of 2017 it will be 72 years since this battle occurred.

    What caught my attention about this incident was on the Go Deep Documentary that aired on the History Channel. First of all I never known that this battle having ever occurred.

    According to my grade 3 teacher WW2 had never occurred. That grade 3 teacher stated that the WW2 and the holocaust was all propaganda. All of my classmates they believed her. I hate to say this but all I knew was that soldiers shooting at each other.

    I almost was expelled from school. My

    Mom my Dad my brother and my Uncle would have been arrested for propaganda. I paid the price. It was ironic a grade 5 teacher told me that Smooks are all commies. Dad was Conservative.

    All the Smooks that I known are all Conservative. If I had the money I would have loved to sue those two teachers.

    As I said I never heard of this Battle. If it were not for that program I would have never had known.

    I started to do more researching to find out more about the history of this battle. The narrator of Go Deep mentioned the names of the pilots who died that battle.

    I missed 20 minutes of that program but the camera crew had the camera’s pointed towards the sign with the names of the deceits. That is how I known.

    According to the narrator There are three who are still missing. W.J. Jackson, Harry Smook and A. Duckworth. A couple of months ago the staff of Go Deep have located Harry and A. Duckworths aircraft. This is on you tube. Harry and A. Duckworth craft is approx 650 feet deep in the Fjord. The individual who is heading this expansionary mission made it known he will not rest until all three of the missing pilots
    will be retrieved. I am sure that A. Duckworth’s kin are hoping for the same.

    What really puzzles me is that I have sent emails to the Smooks. Not one ever replying. I presume its the same with you. Sad. Dad rarely spoke about his family. It appears there is a big secret of the Smooks. I too assume Harry is a kin to my Dad. Harry maybe a 4th 5th cousin to my Dad. I too would like to know. Harry and A. Duckworth served and died for our country. The other is W.j. Jackson – who is also still missing – having died for our Country.

    In conclusion I still ask myself why is this a huge secret.

    If you are still checking this site please contact me. Maybe we may be kin.

    Take care.

  • McNeill Life Stories Wedding Bells: Gordon McLean and Megan Corns

    June 28, 2016 |

    […] More amazing still is that many of those I met are now living and working in communities in or near cities and towns where I spent much of my early life (e.g. Vermillion, Turtleford, Westlock, Edmonton, etc.) For that matter one family from Edmonton lives no more than a stones throw from the home in which my family lived in 1949 at 12237, 95th Street, a time when Edmonton boasted a population of 137,000 and our home was on the very west edge of the city. Today the next block contains the Yellow Head Highway. Link: http://www.mcneillifestories.com/mcneill-family-edmonton/ […]

  • Valerie Heuman (Roddick)

    June 19, 2016 |

    Having just returned to the Okanagan Valley from a weekend in Pibroch, I am delighted to have stumbled on your blog to see the picture of the main street. My aunt and uncle Peggy & Gordon McGillvery owned and lived in the old Post Office on the North east corner of the main intersection and my brother Adrian currently lives south a bit backing on the School yard. We are Sheila’s cousins and still have a close connection to the town.

  • Sheila(Roddick) Allison

    May 19, 2016 |

    Hi. So fun to find your blog. I remember going to school with you and Louise. I loved my childhood in Pibroch which incidentally was named by my grandfather Aaron Roddick. I will never forget the night the garage burned down. Nice to see the landmark photo before the big fire!

  • George Dahl

    April 12, 2016 |

    What a great site. I’m trying to locate a woman named Sally Jennifer who was from the Cold Lake area back in the early sixties. I met her when I was stationed at Namao air base in Edmonton. I was serving with the USAF 3955 air refueling squadron from rhe fall 1963 till the spring of 64. Sally was 22 at the time I was 21. Sally was my first love. I had orders to ship out to South East Asia and we lost contact after that.
    If any of you know the where abouts of Sally I would like to get reacquainted with her. She is First Nation, Blackfoot I believe. She is Catholic and may have attended a Catholic school in Cold Lake.
    Thank You in advance, George Dahl

  • dave armit

    March 23, 2016 |

    good old fashioned police work done by good old fashioned policemen……….in regards to mr cain..i learned a few years ago that he was born on the same day in the same hospital that i was..my father was a close friend of the cain family…!!! interesting..d a

  • Joyce McMenamon

    March 1, 2016 |

    Haha, love it! We should probably eat rats and rabbits rather than beef. Also I’ve noticed that there are a lot less pests where dogs are not kept on leashes.

  • Kari

    February 27, 2016 |

    Thanks for a wonderful trip down memory lane Dad!!! That was an amazing trip and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to share that experience together!
    ❤️