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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  • 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.