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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  • 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.

  • 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