Canada Day Parade in Sidney, British Columbia

Written by Harold McNeill on July 2nd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


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Lynn and I have been to many parades in the Greater Victoria area over the years. but never to Sidney. This year we made the trip with Linda and Bjorn, as Bjorn was in the parade along with other seafaring sorts confidently sailing the Son’s of Norway club ship  down Beacon Avenue.

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The Roaming Riot Flash Mob

Written by Harold McNeill on May 7th, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Roaming Riot Flash Mob

Yesterday morning, May 6, 2012, shortly after Lynn and I popped by Calgary for a quick breakfast while enroute to Vancouver and Victoria, a flash mob, The Roaming Riot, invaded our Airport Pub Restaurant.

When spontaneous events like this appear on your doorstep, we have found the best thing to do is get in the spirit and join the festivities. As it turned out his group of men were enroute to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate the pending wedding of Jeff (photo centre, white hat, hanging on the shoulder of the guy with the t-shirt “Proud to be Something” or words to that effect). 

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The Pumpkin Family

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


Family Portrait (2011)

The Pumpkin Family

Family & Friends (left to right)

Top row: Harold and Lynn McNeill, Sean McNeill:
Second Row: Kari and Ed Walker with son Grayson, Jay McNeill:
Bottom Row: Brother-in-law, Michel Payeur and sister, Dianne McNeill-Payeur; Chris and Christine LeClair with baby Audrey:
Far Right: Sister Louise and Brother-in-law Frank Yochim

A few neighbours from the field joined the party: Mr. Scarecrow, Jack the Vampire Bat and, on of our favourites, Creepy Spider.

Unfortunately the gourds, pumpkins, grand-pumpkins and great-grand pumpkins of Frank, Louise, Dianne and Michele could not make the week-end celebrations as many remained in the field due to work commitments.

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Leif Eriksson Day: The New Canadians

Written by Harold McNeill on October 10th, 2011. Posted in Adventure


A Nordic History Lesson

The New Canadians

Two fine Nordic specimes, one with traces to another culture, stand with young women
they captured in earlier raiding parties in Eastern Canada. Even a casual comparison
to the painting of Erik the Red (below), demonstrates an
amazing resemblance to these modern day men.

EriksonDay07

A Day of Celebration

As October 9th again rolled around we took the city by storm in our Norwegian horned helmets and ninth century Nordic sweaters. With a plentiful supply of mild tasting Aquavit (45% alcohol by volume), delicate lutefisk appetizers and singing the ever popular Norwegian folk song “There Ain’t No Norwegians in Dickeyville”, we spent the evening celebrating the life and times of Leif Erikson, son of the famous Nordic Explorer, Erik the Red.

While last year we had braved heavy winds and rough weather in our trek around the downtown pubs, this year the wool sweaters and helmets took their toll and we had to carry a few who succumbed to heat exhaustion, well, at least that’s what we assumed, as no one ever heard of anyone getting sick from to much aquavit while eating lutefisk appetizers!  

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Cornucopia Traditions – Alive and Well in Victoria

Written by Harold McNeill on April 21st, 2011. Posted in Adventure


Jamie, Kia and Liala

Traditions

Jamie and Kia Charko

 April 16, 2011

 

The matt upon which Jamie and Kia were married has been in the Simonsen family for over 300 years. During this time dozens of family members have been married. Here their daughter, Liala, shares in the celebration.

Cornucopia Cake: The Cornucopia (korn-yoo-KO-pee-uh) symbol stretches across many cultures and peoples from Ancient Greece to modern day. That it is part of many wedding celebrations is only natural.

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Kinosoo Search: Sampi Gets Hooked, Chapter 5 of 6

Written by Harold McNeill on February 5th, 2011. Posted in Adventure


Kinosoo Attack

Photo (by Sampie’s Brother in Law, Darren Riley): Later at the campsite he explained: “About two hundred meters toward the shore I noticed a a swirl in the water, then spray that was at least five meters in length. Suddenly, a large dark object briefly surfaced. I had the camera in hand so snapped one quick photo as I hollered at Sampi.”  By the time Sampi turned the water had calmed and the shadow was long gone.

Link to Next Post: Dangerous Waters Run Deep
Link to Last Post:  Fish Attack.
Link Back to Adventures Index

Chapter 5: Sampie Gets Hooked – The van Rensburg Story Begins

Darren hollered: “Sampie, get moving, it’s coming straight toward us!” Sampie: “I can’t Darren, the downriggers are still out, give me a second…”  Sampi was still hunched over replacing the line on his rod. Nicole was still busy admiring her catch, so both she and her dad were blissfully unaware of the approaching danger. These words were spoken less than 24 hours after admonitions to the Sampie and Darren to take great care while venturing forth on their first fishing trip on Cold Lake.

The van Rensburg story began in August 2009 while Lynn and I were camping at Cold Lake while visiting my sister Louise Yochim and her family. We chanced to meet a delightful young man from South Africa, Sampie van Rensburg, who set up camp in the site next to ours. Sampie, a gregarious man in his late thirties, was accompanied by his youngest daughter, Nicole, and his brother-in-law, Darren Riley. It was their first time visiting Cold Lake having heard many stories about the giant fish the filled these waters. 

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Chapter 4: Fish Attack – A Military Aircraft Down in French Bay

Written by Harold McNeill on February 5th, 2011. Posted in Flying Log Book, Adventure


 

RCAF DHC 3 Otter at Cold Lake

Photo (From the files of a High School friend and former workmate, Guy Venne).  The RCAF often moored their DHC-3 Otters at the main dock in Cold Lake and the above aircraft appears to be the same one that is the subject of this post.  Guy had taken several photos of the crash scene in French Bay, but all those photos were seized by the Air Force as part of their investigation.

 The three photos displayed in this story were also taken taken by Guy, one before the crash (above) and two after the craft had been towed to the main dock at Cold Lake. Damage to floats suggested a collision, but the Air Force had other ideas. The whole story was to become cloaked in secrecy (photos in footer).

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The Big Kinosoo: Origin of the Legend – Chapter 1 of 6

Written by Harold McNeill on January 10th, 2011. Posted in Adventure


The Big Kinosoo: Origin of the Legend – Chapter 1 of 6

Native in Birch Bark Canoe

Photo (Web Source): Fishing on Cold Lake in the Early Years

Link to Next Post: Monster Fish
Link to Last Post: 
Big Kinosoo: Growing the Legend
Link Back to Adventures Index

Cold Lake, Late 1800s

The following short excerpt is taken from a story by J.B. Minoose1, a friend of our family, Dave and Laura McNeill.  We lived not far from Mr. Minoose and his family while our family was at the Martineau River logging Camp in the mid-1940’s. This was followed by two years at North Bay (Smith Place) on the North side of Cold Lake, then two years at Marie Lake which was 15 miles west of North Bay (reference Family Stories 1940 -1965).  The Minoose story appears in Treasured Scales of the Kinosoo, a history of families in Cold Lake edited by Laura Dean Skarsen. Laura Dean Skarsen, was sister-in-law of our step-father, Wilfred Skarsen and our mother Laura Isabel Skarsen (McNeill) (Wheeler).  J.B. Minooses (standing, second from right in photo) spoke of his life in Cold Lake:

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.