McNeill Connections: Such a Small World

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


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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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Comments

  • Mike Fedorowich

    September 1, 2023 |

    I have gone through the above noted text and have found it quite informative.
    I am a former member with several law enforcement agencies from across Canada.
    I worked in the First Nations service under the authority of the RCMP with the over sight of the OPP. My law enforcement service was conducted under the authority of the Nishnawbe – Aski Police Service in North West Ontario the Louis Bull Police Sevice in Hobbema AB, the Kitasoo Xaixais Police Service in Northern in side passage on Swindle Island, the Lac Suel Police Service North West Ontario and the Vancouver Transit Authority Sky Train Police Service. I’m presently dealing with an RCMP member for falsifying a report against me for a road rage event. Court case is finished and the charge was dropped but I have an on going complaint with the member and have forwarded to the WATCH DOGS IN OTTAWA FOR the RCMP review and consideration. I believe the said officer is in violation of his oath of office and should be held accountable for falsifying his RTCC all the while dragging me through the court system here in Nanaimo. RCMP continue to stonewall the appeal but Ottawa and the crowns office are still looking into the matter. if your able and find the time or the interest in this very brief introduction, I would very much like to speak with you and would be grateful to hear any wisdom that may come across from your end. I served with First Nations Police Services for ten years in isolation and six years with Transit Police out of New West Minster. I do value and appreciate any time you could spare to chat for a bit on this particular subject matter. Respectfully with out anger but an open mind, Mike Fedorowich Nanaimo BC 250 667 0060

  • 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.