McNeill Connections: Such a Small World

Written by Harold McNeill on September 5th, 2013. Posted in Biographies


And it gets smaller with each passing hour…

On Tuesday, after our return from camping at Island View Beach, Sean mentioned that Lucas (a friend of Sean and our family) was dating girl from Oak Bay and there was a connection to our family.  A copy of the information passed to Sean is included in footer.

It turns out girlfriend’s Aunt is Debbie Ayotte (husband Giles).  Our family met the Ayotte’s (kids Marcel and Danielle) back in the 1990s when Sean played soccer at Prospect Lake and baseball at Layritz with Marcel.

When mom (Laura Skarsen) was living with us for few months we took her to visit the Ayotte’s.  During our visit we learned that when mom was in High School she had dated Debbie’s dad a few times.  After that revelation Debbie and I often joked that if things had turned out slightly different, Debbie and I might be brother and sister.  To this day, we still call each other brother and sister when we met.

Story 2

An hour later as I was cleaning the trailer, an older blue Volvo pulled up across the street and a man asked if this was the McNeill residence.  Of course the conversation was on and the couple in the car, Mickey and Lillian (Stevens), were invited in for tea.  First, he whipped the car around and parked in front of our house.  No driving challenges for that young man.

In conversation we learned that while we were away the couple had a visit from my first cousins, Charlie and Olga Crocker of Saskatoon. His mother, Mina, was my dad’s sister and they both grew up in Glaslyn/Birch Lake, where Mina married (Ned Crocker) and lived until this both passed away.IMG_6099

Mickey said they had dropped by our place a few times with Charlie and Olga but were never able to catch us at home (of course). We also learned that for several years Charlie and Mickey worked as field reps in Saskatchewan for a farm implement company.

Mickey retired several years before Charlie and after retiring, living in Winnipeg for several years.  He and Lillian then moved to the Island about 25 years back. They now live on Royal Oak Drive, only a few blocks from our home.

Now the cracker! Mickey is 96 and Lillian 93 and they have been married for 57 years. Mickey said they would have been married longer, but he was in his early forties and she in her late thirties when they finally tied the knot. Amazing.

While Lillian has some vision limitations, Mickey still easily holds a driver’s licence as evidenced by the way he whipped that Volvo around.  The couple, as you might discern from the radiant look on their faces, are an absolute delight. This is one exceptional couple and I am sure we shall see more of them in the future.

What a small world.


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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 […]