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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  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • 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.