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

  • 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 […]

  • Harold McNeill

    February 15, 2020 |

    Testing the comments section after changes made. Updated: February 10, 2020

    Further to the update below (February 1, 2020), I note that since the government announced a “No-Fault” insurance plan for BC, Robert Mulligan is taking a slightly different tack, suggesting that no-fault will only increase the problems by taking away the right of an injured party to sue.

    I’ve copied just one sentence from Mulligan’s longer discussion, “And I think people don’t like the idea that somebody who’s, for example, was drunk and ran into you and you become a quadriplegic is going to be treated exactly the same way you would in terms of getting benefits (go to minute 00:15:26 to see his full comment)

    Statements like this appear to be simple fear-mongering. As was the case in the past, people who commit criminal offences, as well as other forms of negligence while driving, may well lose their insurance coverage and in all likelihood would be sued by ICBC to recover costs of the claim. (Link here to Mulligan’s full conversation on CFAX radio)

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    January 5, 2020 |

    […] 28. The past as a guide to the future (Part III): Over the past 60 years, many activities the police once performed as a natural part of their daily duty, eventually became incompatible with achieving their basic goals. What happened? (August 2019) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories Why I stand with science? - McNeill Life Stories

    November 11, 2019 |

    […] During the Ice Age, the Earth’s average temperature was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is today. That was enough to keep snow from melting during the summers in northern regions. As snow fell on the snow, glaciers formed. (NASA Earth Observatory) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]