Blue Tones Top the Charts

Written by Harold McNeill on March 7th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Get a Job – The Blue Tones
(The slideshow is in HD, so you may need to pause for 15 seconds while it uploads.)

A full series of still photos from this video can be accessed at:
McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page

Lead Singer and Saxophone Player: Art Charlton
Backup Singers: Alana Charlton, Linda and Bjorn Simonsen; Lynn and Harold McNeill;
Clair Langford and Tom
Practice Backup Singers: Benji and Kevin Charlton; Erika and Kia Simonsen,
Daphne and Danny Langford; Jay, Kari and Christine McNeill

Years of Struggle: The Back Story

After years of struggle, a British Columbia band from Victoria, the Blue Tones, knew it was do or die as they concentrated on putting the finishing touches to their song “Get a Job”.

The lyrics came straight from the heart as the four men knew that the women who had backed them for so long wanted more stability in their lives and if that meant the men had to give up their guitars, saxophones and rakish style for more menial work and a regular pay cheque, so be it.

Then came their big chance, back in early 1980’s, when a spot opened in Canada’s “So You Think You’ve Got Talent.” TV show. Another little known band Lips Inc.” best know for their 1980 hit Funkytown failed to show for the taping of the show when another of those freakish July blizzards hit their hometown in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Blue Tones were on standby and asked to step in. The rest is history.

Two months later Get a Job topped the charts in both Canada and the US.   The attached video is a composite of the band’s work during the time they wrote and practised the song, then presented on the talent show. As you can see in the video, every one of their family members participated in getting it just right. Now you know the rest of the story.

We hope you enjoy this video of our first Golden Hit.

Harold

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Happy Birthday Christine

Written by Harold McNeill on January 12th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Good Morning Honey and Happy 40th Birthday!

Well, another shared birthday which, for each of us, is a milestone – you reaching forty as I commence my seventy-fifth. The moment you arrived on my birthday forty years ago, a special bond was created and forever treasured.

It seems like yesterday when your mother gave birth and, while life has presented challenges along the way, meeting those challenges in a positive manner and accepting them as part of the process of growing older has made each of us stronger and our love that much deeper.

When sitting down to start a slideshow capturing those many years, it was difficult to choose a theme and music that expressed it all. I browsed through hundreds of photos and dozens of songs along the way to the final cut while suggestions from family members helped to clear the path.

Our journey began with one slideshow but quickly grew as we reminisced over 40 years of memories and the life we’ve shared – soon evolving into 4 segments which, along with the attached poem, express the depth of our love for you, your sister, brothers, and families.

We hope you enjoy each moment as much as we have enjoyed creating this tribute to you and the rest of the family.

Love Dad and Lynn
(Grandpa and Nana)

THE WOMAN YOU’VE BECOME

With those big eyes and sweet little smile
Your contentment so grand, the hours you’d while
Alone or with others, it mattered not
The love from within shone forth with each thought

Through the years it continued, this skill to enjoy
A moment, a dream, a specially made toy
Always sharing with others to help them to grow
More than imagined, and more than you know

We’ve sat on the sidelines and watched o’er the years
Through happiness, struggles, and of course, lots of tears
With each challenge you’ve managed to rise and excel
Each pitfall and obstacle all handled so well

It’s with pride and much love that we watch you soar
Now a wife, a mother, and so very much more
And on this day, one with Dad you share
We send these memories with loving care

And with each tune, — so familiar to some-
We rejoice in the Woman that you’ve become.

All our love on your 40th Birthday and Always

Lynn and Dad

Happy Birthday, Christine
January 13, 2016

Note: The slideshow was uploaded as HD so, in some instances, may be a little slow in loading.

1. The Adventure Begins: A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

2. The Adventure Continues: Precious Memories, J.J. Cale and
Dream a Little Dream of Me, Mama Cass

3. Girls Just Want to Have Fun:  Cyndi Lauper

4. A New Family: I Have a Dream, ABBA

 

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Women’s Suffrage in Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on January 24th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Womans Suffrage in BC

Women’ Suffrage in British Columbia
(Jan 2018 1300)

The Long Slow Climb

Over the past few years, considerable attention is given to the lack of women’s rights within many religious orders, with Muslims taking the brunt of the heat over the past fifteen years.  Yet, we only need to go back fifty or sixty years to see the fight for basic women’s rights, including the right to vote, was an ongoing battle in many parts of Canada.

It was not until the 1940’s that the women of Quebec were able to overcome a church dominated political system and gained that right too vote.  Other rights would slowly be gained over the subsequent decades (e.g.  removal of abortion and prostitution from the criminal code, equal rights within marriage, right to enter drinking establishments, and the list goes on), rights that today we take for granted.

It took until 2015 for women to be fully represented in ministerial positions within the Federal government and only in recent decades have we seen more women elected to lead Provinces. It’s no real surprise to anyone, that these women were and are powerful leaders. The United States has yet to break that barrier, but there is no doubt it will happen one day soon.

Over the nearly 150 years since our Confederation, these were big steps as it was just over 100 years ago that not one woman in Canada had the right to vote or hold legislative or parliamentary office. It’s hard to imagine it was only in 1916 that the legislative and parliamentary house of cards controlled exclusively by men, began to crumble when the women of Manitoba achieved the right. The right soon flowed across Canada as outlined in the following timeline.

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The New Face of Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on October 20th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


trudeau-family-photo-portrait-couch

Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Grégoire and their three children, Xavier, 7, Ella-Grace, 5, and five-month-old Hadrien ((Web Photo, October 2014)

This family represents The New Face of  Canada, a country where everyone who becomes a citizen knows they have made the right choice, a country where the mosaic of culture was stitched together in manner that sets us apart and a country were people care about helping others be it on the home front or around the world.

Link to Photo Album

Heading towards a New Era.

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Mission Accomplished?

Written by Harold McNeill on February 28th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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Photo (Web Source): With great fanfare we sent C-18’s from Cold Lake winging their way to fight scattered bands of terrorists in Syria and Iraq.  Many believed it was a worthy cause, but what did we really accomplish?

(Note: For the three people we met by the breakwater at lunch, I thought this article
might be of interest (February 29, 2016)  Go to the Tim Horton’s Post for more Editorials.

Canada’s War Effort: By the Numbers

There is little firm data about the damage and death inflicted upon our enemies, but various press articles provide some front end details:

Estimated expenditure: Conservative Government estimates rounded to $600,000,000

Missions Flown: 250  (5 into Syria and 245 into Iraq)

Bombs Dropped: 600

Let’s do the math if the costs were applied equally in relation to each item:

Cost per Bomb dropped: $1,000,000 

Cost per Mission: $2,500,000

Costs per each of the six CF-18’s: $100,000,000

Discussion: Why do we fight?

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Sean McNeill Birthday 2015

Written by Harold McNeill on November 8th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Biographies


A lot of fun last night with a few of the gang for a birthday dinner at the old homestead.  To put a little perspective around the extended family and gang, I grabbed these photos for a slideshow, then dialled in some of the favourite music a lot of young people in our lives have been playing for several years. It’s funny how Frank and many others from back in the day, continue to speak a language that resonates through the decades.   I suppose the music speaks to their love of life and the people who surround them.

For our extended family, take a little trip into times past as many of you have been included.  For those I missed, and there were many, you will most certainly appear in future slideshows, as I continue to draw out more of those old photos from a variety of sources.

Cheers,
Harold and Lynn

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Tories in a Tizzy on $5M Cap

Written by Harold McNeill on March 10th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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March, 2016.  A few of the CPC potential leadership candidates.
Canadian Press Background

It’s refreshing to see that even when out of office the Tories continue their efforts to cap spending as demonstrated in the current leadership race. Some party members argued the $5,000,000 cap might prevent erstwhile contenders from challenging for the leadership.

While that cap is five times higher than $1M limit set by the Liberals for their 2011 race and ten times what the NDP allowed in 2012, it is double that which the Conservatives set when Harper took over in 2004. Party insiders don’t think five million is enough money to stage a leadership race.

Well, they are the ‘free enterprise’ party, so why do they even want a limit? Let the potential leaders spend away and if the contender can buy the leadership through attacks such as Harper staged on his way to control of the party, why not let others? (Michael Harris, Party of One)

attack ads4Party insiders pushing for higher limits argue that creating the dozens of attack ads and media buys needed to sideline competitors has ballooned in recent years so they are just keeping up with inflation. The higher figures are based on what the party spent on similar strategies in the past few elections.

Poster (Web Source)These ads are small sample of the successful ‘attack ads’ created by Arthur Finkelstien.  Just think of the material he could develop when the targets were other Conservatives. It would be better than waiting for the Super Bowl commercials.

Also, any potential leader wanting to hire an effective strategist such as Finkelstien, the Merchant of Venom, who so effectively managed the Conservative comeback ten years ago, does not come cheap.

Tory leadership potentials must learn to effectively use these tactics and what better place to practice than within their own leadership race. Digging up dirt and presenting it in an effective manner is expensive and if no dirt can found, it is even more expensive to build that dirt from scratch.

In order to achieve an open and fair free-market system in selecting their leader, some
Conservatives think the US Super Pac (independent expenditure-only committees) is ideal. This provides wealthy independent Conservative backers and big business, a reasonable opportunity to get their man (perhaps a woman – this is 2016) in place. As these PAC’s operate money-bagsoutside party control, they can be extremely effective in targeting political opponents both inside and outside the party.

Web (Photo) What earthly use is it to have earned all this money and then not able to spend it in helping to get people you like elected?

While a few suggested Robo-Calls is much less expensive and can be used to good effective, the party Executive thinks the tactic should be reserved for general elections.

From an outsiders viewpoint, it would be a lot easier and less expensive to just let the public and press jog the memberships memory of how some of those men and woman handled their jobs over the past 12 years.

In any case, many of the leadership hopefuls will find it different walking into a public meeting or standing in front a camera where they have to think for themselves rather than being fed every word by their party leader.

Harold

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Family Resemblances

Written by Harold McNeill on January 19th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Louise and Karina Final

Louise and Karena?

Over the past while I have been working on several older photo files (both prints and electronic) and in the history of our families have noticed many astonishing similarities.  For example this one of my sister Louise at about fifteen, and comparing it with her daughter Karena, who I suspect was in her early thirties. the resemblance (to me at least) is extremely close.  If they were the same age I think it would be even closer.

When I first posted the two photos on Facebook, Louise’s hairstyle was not all that flattering and tended to distract from the similarity, so I simply updated her style to match that of Karena.  After doing this, one could be led to believe they were twins.  While photoshop works well at changing various features such as hair, glasses, etc., I still have much to learn about smoothing the edges (for example when eliminating the background on Karena’s photo).

As time goes by I will add other photos to this post.  If you have any suggestions (or photos) of look-a-likes in any part of our extended family (at any age – grandparents, etc.), please pass them along and I will work to bring them together as with Louise and Karina in this photo.

As I match more photos, I will move the current lead photo down and and replace it with another.

Cheers,

Harold

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Comments

  • 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.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.