Purple Day Plane Pull

Written by Harold McNeill on March 25th, 2013. Posted in Adventure


In Praise of Volunteers

The Purple Team strain toward a Gold Medal Finish as the crowd in the background go wild. The other winners on this day were the individuals and organizations who depend upon the efforts of Volunteers to raise awareness and funds for those whose lives have been affected by the onset of Epilepsy.

Victoria International Airport
Sidney, British Columbia

Have you ever suffered from a debilitating illness? If not, it is almost certain a family member or close friend has faced or is currently facing a serious medical challenge. The fight to eradicate the many forms disease can take is one that requires not only continuing dedication to the cause, but tremendous amounts of money – far more than can be provided by government and business through direct funding, research and other grants.  To make up the shortfall, individual volunteers, often those having a close connection to a specific disease or medical challenge, devote thousands of hours of their time and tons of energy towards helping fund the battle.

And so it was this past Saturday when the Purple Day Plane Pull for Epilepsy volunteers (Link Here) held their second annual fundraising event at the Victoria International Airport. While there was a variety of fun events, food and engaging costumes that delighted children and adults alike, the main event was a team competition in which the challenge was to tow a 20,000 pound Catalina Water Bomber along a measured section of the north-west tarmac.

As you might surmise, pulling 20,000 pounds, even on wheels, seemed just a tad beyond the reach of the competing teams. This became crystal clear when the first team to the start line failed to budge that monster even a fraction of a centimeter. After a massive effort that must have strained more than a few back, leg and arm muscles, it was discovered that someone had forgotten to release the brakes on the aircraft. Oh well, mistakes do happen. As a credit to that lead off team, on their second try, winded and sore as they were, they posted a respectable time.

Among the other teams competing were the Viscount Aero Centre Group, represented by our very own Lucas and Sean, and their friends Matt, Nathan and Jonathan. While the men put on a good show they missed the cut-off for the finals when edged out by the Purple Pullers (lead photo at the finish line). Lynn and I managed to bolster the sideline cheering section while catching a few photos of the teams in action.

Other teams included CHEK TV, the Catalina Grill House, UCB – The Epilepsy Company, Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre, hbl Events, Hot House Marketing, Island Parent Magazine, Times Colonist, Sport Ball, and Braefoot Sports.

Many thanks to the dozens of businesses and volunteers who helped to organize and stage the event. A few pictures are posted below, as well as on the McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page (link below).

Remember, Purple Day for Epilepsy is Tuesday, March 26th. If you feel inclined to provide an additional donation to the cause, please link to the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre in Saanich (link here).

Full Set of Photos on Facebook (Link Here)

Sean, Lucas, Matt, Nathan and Jonathan give it their all as they try to catch the Purple team at the finish line. Alas, the boy’s worked hard but on this day the girls outpaced them – all for a good cause.

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This one Air Cadet seems a bit distracted by all the hardware laid out on the table while his mates scan the crowd.  All seem oblivious to the action in the sky behind them. Perhaps if I had made a loop on this photo retouch, I might have gained their attention.

 

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Comments

  • 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.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read your life account of Pibroch excellent.
    My family mowed to Pibroch in 1942 Dad was grain buyer for Searle Grain Company lived in town for 5 years than mowed one mile East to the farm on the corner of the road from Pibroch and Hwy 44. Bro Don still lives there.I went to school with both you and Louise.

  • DOROTHY MARSHALL

    November 15, 2021 |

    These stories brought back some sweet memories for me. a wonderful trip down memory lane . the photos were great. It has made me miss those days.

  • DOROTHY MARSHALL

    November 15, 2021 |

    Enjoyed your story Harold Dorothy Hartman