Thank you Zunera Ishaq

Written by Harold McNeill on October 10th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


ishaq-citizenship

Zunera Ishaq

Thank you Zunera Ishaq

In the public swearing in citizenship ceremonies,  Zunera Ishaq shed tears as she raised her hand and along with others stated: “I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors …”   (I)   At the end she said:  “Thank you so much for honouring me here today,”

Reference the Charter of Rights and Freedoms note at the end of this article.

Zunera Ishaq: Her side of the story:

Along the difficult path to citizenship, dozens of statements made by Ms. Ishaq have appeared in various newspaper and television reports about her battle to resist the Government of Canada attack. As you read Ms. Ishaq’s comments, then other notes in the footer, please remember the Prime Minister, his Ministers and the Ministry of Justice lawyers knew all along they were creating a fictitious defence of their position. They knew at the beginning they could never win, but continued along the path simply to create the illusion the Government was taking a principled position in this fight against the face covering. The Ministry lawyers who presented the Government’s case should all be disciplined by the Bar Association for their egregious abuse of court time and of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute (more in the end discussion):

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Crackling Fire on a Cold Winters Day

Written by Harold McNeill on September 14th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 

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September 15, 2015 (Photo, thanks Alysha):  A glass of wine, some mood music and the first crackling fire of the year.  In terms of comfort and ambiance, there is nothing finer than a log fire.  (Lexi is actually snuggled between our feet.)

Link to full set of photos for this story.
Part 1  Link to a Magical Summer
Link to full set of photos for Part 1.
Part 3  The Magical Gardens of Adam Szczawinski

Summers of my Youth

In the summers of my youth, the work was not done without having set aside an abundant supply of wood for those deep cold prairie winters as that was our primary source of heat.  Here in Victoria, it’s not as deep and not as cold, but winter in Canada is still winter and as Canadians we love those crazy cozy log fires.

As Lynn and I recently installed wood burning insert our quest for good wood is ravenous. Drop a tree anywhere within a ten block radius and we hear it fall even when no one else can. With our gear ready and trailer hooked up, we can be on scene in less than ten minutes and first in, first cut and you own the tree, that’s the tradition. More than once we have been warned off by Hydro, but if Harold Cutting Woodwe’re lucky and they’re busy, we can have the choice parts cleaned, cut, loaded and gone before they even arrive on the scene.

While it only takes a medium gale to produce copious quantities of street wood here on the Island, those winds do not usually begin until late fall and the wood won’t be dry in time for the current winter. If you don’t have a plentiful supply in reserve, you pay the going rate of about $200 per cord for split and (sometimes) dry, second choice stuff from a jobber or upwards of $300 from an established firm.  Link: (Victoria Firewood)

May 2015: Harold with his new Husqvarna chain saw working peacefully cleaning up the property next door.

Early this spring it was our good fortune to get ahead of the storms when the property immediately across the street was being subdivided for three homes. As the one acre lot was filled with old fruit trees, maple, oak, cedar, fir, etc., there was more than enough for a two year supply and with a warm, dry summer, most of it would be ready for a fall start.  So with chainsaw, hardhat and ear protection in hand, we began cutting, hacking, bucking and dragging that fine wood across the street to our front yard.  But, as we all know good things don’t always last.

Police Intervention

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A Magical Summer

Written by Harold McNeill on September 6th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Fairy in Garden

Personal Photos:  We always knew it would be A Magical Summer since the moment our granddaughter Audrey first planted those Scarlet Runners early this spring.  It became real one morning when I captured this  photo of a fairy standing in the corner of the garden beside an old wicker chair.

Link to Photos for this Post
Part 2: Link to Crackling Fire on Cold Winters Day
Part 3: The Magical Gardens of Adam Szczawinski

Fences and Gardens, Family and Friends

So much was happening this spring and summer it was hard to keep up, but suffice it to say there was a lot of magic. Woven between various trips to destinations inside and outside Canada, as well as visits by family and friends, there was a determination to redo the garden and fences as they were in tough shape after several years of neglect.

Last year Lynn and I worked at cleaning up the decks and redoing the garden furniture, but that only made the crumbling fences and mom cropped 7 front coverovergrown gardens look even more sad and forlorn.  Growing up in a family where my mother had the greenest thumb I know, we could no longer avoid thinking how she would feel if she happened by and saw all those steely, prickly weeds making such fun of the few domestic plants that survived the long summers of neglect.

Back in the late 1990’s mom and I had spent two magical summers planting everything we could get our hands on and it was now time to renew the gardening vows that were etched in my genes.  In our family one daughter, Kari, and one son, Sean, have been gifted with that particular gene, so the linage will not be lost any time soon. The jobs, however, were not a one week fix.

Photo (Personal Files, c1990s).  When mom was here for those two long visits, we spent day son end planting everything we could get our hands on. As neither of us had ever made moss hanging baskets we must have put together fifteen of various shapes and sizes.  Many of the McNeill Life Stories, 1941-1965, a historical stories on the blog, came out of our daily conversations.

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Remembrance Day: The Forgotten Warriors

Written by Harold McNeill on November 9th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Double Click Photo to Open

I am still seeing far to many FB posts that confuse issues related to September-11th with our celebration of November-11th.  Try to remember the defence of our freedoms during two World Wars was fought by military personnel from countries representing every race and religion around the world and while Canada, then as now, was home to a few who utter racist rants, we need to remember this is 2015, not 1914 or 1939.

It is time for everyone to accept that Canada is a multicultural mosaic where minorities are the norm, not the exception, so let’s stop trying to prove it is otherwise. The following statement is plucked from a Web Site dedicated to the memory of those who served in World War I:

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Halloween 2015 at the McNeill’s

Written by Harold McNeill on November 1st, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Haunted Castle

Photo of Haunted Castle (Web Source).  The castle was projected on a large screen in a
dark corner of the deck.

Again this year, it was a beautiful clear late afternoon and evening for the trick or treaters. Considering torrential rains had pelted the city and caused considerable localized flooding over the previous twenty-four hours, the clearing was an unexpected, I don’t suppose a little rain in Victoria would dampen the spirits of the true Hallo’weiners’.

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Voter Turnout: Vancouver Island

Written by Harold McNeill on October 21st, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Student voter turnout on Campuses across Canada reached record numbers.

Congratulations Vancouver Islanders

We have once again set more voting records on the Islands, but it seems that somehow the Green Tinge wafting from Salt Spring and Saanich somehow turned a psychedelic orange as it covered the rest of the Islands and while it wasn’t red, it still exuded a glow much warmer than steel blue.

Voter turnout. In a word, awesome! Thanks to those thousands of young people who picked up the torch and marched to the polling stations across the Island.  We may be tagged as the newly weds and nearly dead’s here on the Islands, but when it comes to voting we managed to tuck away our stash or grabbed our walkers and headed to the polls by the thousands. When you live on the these laid back Islands, an extra hour or two in a line-up just wafts by with barely a notice.

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Syrians in Crisis: Can Canada Do Better?

Written by Harold McNeill on September 5th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Hungary, September 5, 2015

As Syrian refugees flee a war torn dictatorship and hundreds march across Hungary and other countries, the people of Canada have many thoughts about what our response should be or should have been over the past few years.

Should Canada and other countries around the world take in more refugees or should those refugees be put in camps and simply held for years as done in many countries. I am not being critical of refugee camps as they serve a very useful purpose when used on a temporary basis, but too often that is not the experience.

Perhaps barriers could be built along borders so they can’t in, an idea that is gaining strength in the United States regarding the Mexican border and in some have even suggested one (at least electronic) with Canada.  But, really, is building fences along our borders the answer?

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Mental Illness by Another Name

Written by Harold McNeill on August 31st, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Photo (Web) Whether Chiheb Esseghaier suffered from the onset of mental illness or not, now makes little difference.  With great fanfare he was arrested, charged, convicted and awaits sentence.  The massive publicity generated served the greater good of helping to prove a war on domestic terror was not only necessary, it was essential. This created the conditions that allowed dozens of new anti-terror laws to be passed with  barely whisper of complaint.  

As the trial after a trial of Victoria’s infamous Canada Day Bombers case awaits its fall continuation, the sentencing hearings in that earlier terror scare, the VIA Train guys, is slowly being derailed by controversy.

The court appointed psychiatrist leaves little doubt the main protagonist was rapidly slipping off the rails well before he actually did any planning to derail that train.  Early stage schizophrenia? Probably and, as many have observed, just the sort person to be targeted in:

“… an FBI sting that has been used dozens of times in the U.S. to nab prospective terrorists … It’s a method adopted from the war on drugs and the FBI’s battle against the Mafia, and one that critics charge has routinely and deliberately served to ensnare the mentally vulnerable or the insane.” (Globe and Mail). You many not recall, but it was The FBI who ran the VIA Rail sting and who agreed to pull the pin hours after the Boston Bombing (see Terrorism, Another Perspective). (also, Link Toronto Today article)

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Comments

  • 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.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold

  • Terrance

    January 5, 2019 |

    A VERY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS. ALL POLITICIANS SHOULD READ THIS.

  • Harold McNeill

    December 23, 2018 |

    Thanks Sis. I will be uploading as Hi-Def so the photos can be viewed full screen. Brother