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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  • Mike Fedorowich

    September 1, 2023 |

    I have gone through the above noted text and have found it quite informative.
    I am a former member with several law enforcement agencies from across Canada.
    I worked in the First Nations service under the authority of the RCMP with the over sight of the OPP. My law enforcement service was conducted under the authority of the Nishnawbe – Aski Police Service in North West Ontario the Louis Bull Police Sevice in Hobbema AB, the Kitasoo Xaixais Police Service in Northern in side passage on Swindle Island, the Lac Suel Police Service North West Ontario and the Vancouver Transit Authority Sky Train Police Service. I’m presently dealing with an RCMP member for falsifying a report against me for a road rage event. Court case is finished and the charge was dropped but I have an on going complaint with the member and have forwarded to the WATCH DOGS IN OTTAWA FOR the RCMP review and consideration. I believe the said officer is in violation of his oath of office and should be held accountable for falsifying his RTCC all the while dragging me through the court system here in Nanaimo. RCMP continue to stonewall the appeal but Ottawa and the crowns office are still looking into the matter. if your able and find the time or the interest in this very brief introduction, I would very much like to speak with you and would be grateful to hear any wisdom that may come across from your end. I served with First Nations Police Services for ten years in isolation and six years with Transit Police out of New West Minster. I do value and appreciate any time you could spare to chat for a bit on this particular subject matter. Respectfully with out anger but an open mind, Mike Fedorowich Nanaimo BC 250 667 0060

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.