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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  • Harold McNeill

    January 15, 2021 |

    Wow, Graham, I was taken by surprise (but then again that’s not too hard). Having all you fine folks (my children by other fathers and mothers) would have been great. I’m hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, we can reprise that trip. Perhaps we’ll just set aside a time for someone else’s landmark day, and we can surprise them. Love to you two. Harold

  • Graham and Nazanin

    January 15, 2021 |

    How could we miss this historic event my friend!!!
    Nazy and I were booked for that cruise Harold, we were looking so forward to it.
    We will be together soon! We both wish that continued unconditional love you receive from everyone to continue as you are that special someone that makes a difference in this world.
    Happy birthday sir, cheers!

  • Harold McNeill

    January 7, 2021 |

    Glad you found the site and that Dorthy enjoyed. I’ve added a lot of school photos in other locations linked to the High School Years stories. Cheers, Harold

  • Shelley Hamaliuk

    January 2, 2021 |

    Hi there, I am Dorothy Marshall’s (nee Hartman) daughter. Mom was quite excited when she discovered this site while surfing the net yesterday, so excited that she told me to have a look! She quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory and seeing old pictures of herself.Keep up the great work!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,” and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

    Summary: I don’t know how many read the above articles, but they contained the tragic details about young woman, Krista Carle’, who took her own life after suffering for years with PTSD. While tragedies such as this play out across Canada every week, the reason this story resonates so profoundly is that the final, tragic, conclusion took place here in Victoria. Continued in the article.

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    February 16, 2020 |

    […] Part I, Police solidarity and the push for amalgamation. Part II, Comparing police cultures and implementing change Part III, The past as a guide to the future Part IV The integration of police services […]