Posts Tagged ‘Lynn McNeill’

Jiquilillo, Nicaragua: Community Support Fundraiser

Written by Harold McNeill on February 7th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


GNS Group to Nicaragua

Photo (GNS Newsletter) (March, 2013).  Cheryl Murtland and staff from SMU with another group of students at
Monty’s Surf Camp in Jiquilillo, Nicaragua. The little kids are from the nearby community of Jiquilillo.

Fireside Grill, Victoria, BC (February 6, 2014)

It was a great evening of meeting old friends and making new ones as Cheryl Murtland and others from St. Michaels University School, continued their work with another group of students as they hosted a fundraiser for theSMUS Students Together Works Society (1).  The funds will be used to support projects in and around he remote community of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua.

Together Works Society, a Canadian non-profit Society, is the brainchild of Donald (Monty) Montgomery (2), a teacher from Parksville, British Columbia, who runs a Surf Camp near Jiquilillo on the northwest coast of Nicaragua.

Photo (Fireside Grill): A few of the many SMUS students who have diligently worked on the fundraiser.

In April, these students along with fifteen others will be travelling to Nicaragua to help with Surf Camp projects as well as taking time to savour the sun, surf and sand at the camp.

Given the -6C temperature and three centimetres of fresh snow this morning, the incentives to travel to Monty’s little hide-a-way is even more enticing.

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Japan, East Coast: A Journey of Recovery

Written by Harold McNeill on September 21st, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Japan East Coast Soccer Teams

Photo: Just a few of the kids and adults we met during our trip along the East Coast. At this newly refurbished soccer pitch, Canadian flags, World Cup soccer balls, pinnies (including several used by the Japanese U20 mens team) along with other pieces of memorabilia from the 2007, U20 Mens World Cup, was very popular. Many of the older soccer players were aware that Victoria had hosted the Japanese team during the U20 World Cup as the games were broadcast and streamed live to Japan.

Link Here for Chapters 1 – 5

Link Here for the East Coast Slideshow on You Tube

あなたチューブの東海岸スライドショーのためここにリンク

Link Here for Individual Photos on Flicker

フリッカー上の個々の写真のためにここにリンク

Link Here for Photos on Facebook

Facebookで写真のためにここにリンク

Chapter 6  A Journey of Recovery

While an important part of our mission to Japan was flying the colours of Victoria in our sister city of Morioka, another, and equally important part, was assisting in modest way with the East Coast recovery efforts.

Morioka, for those who are not aware, is the Capital City of Iwate Prefecture, the Prefecture that encompasses much of the heavily damaged area.  For the citizens of Morioka and surrounding area, dealing with the immediate and long-term effects of the disaster was and is an immense challenge, challenges they accepted with equanimity.

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Seaside Magazine

Written by Harold McNeill on January 25th, 2013. Posted in Guest Posts


Photo: While everyone attending the Seaside Magazine celebration was a winner, Sue Hodgson, assisted by Editor-in-Chief Allison Smith and Seaside Photographer Jo-Ann Way, drew business cards for several special gifts handed out during the evening. (Link in footer for additional photos of the celebration).

A Seaside Celebration

A wonderful time was had by all last night at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney as publisher Sue Hodgson and team members of the Seaside Magazine (formerly the Times) welcomed family, friends and business associates to share in an evening of celebration of their new magazine format.

In the words of Sue Hodgson:

“Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’re here to give you a glimpse of our people, places and ideas and unleash the vibrant energy that our local paradise has to offer.

To ensure we attain the highest level of excellence in serving our community, we want to stay on top of what’s happening. Please let us know when local events are sprouting up or when any other little seeds of local interest might be germinating. It is truly a pleasure and an honour to publish Seaside, and we would like to thank everyone who has welcomed us into their lives with open arms.  (Quote from the Seaside Web Page)

For those yet to savour the pristine photographic and print qualities of this local publication, take a few minutes to link to the Homepage of Seaside Magazine where you will be treated to a taste of the West Coast Lifestyle. For scenes that will entice you to delve a little deeper – Link Here  

With a sip of complementary local wine and an array of succulent morsels catered by the Spitfire Grill, we were treated to musical arrangements by the ArchersEthan Caleb, Sandy Hughes, Liam McLaren, Liam Moes and Robert McMullen. 

I only managed to catch three of the five in this photo, but it seems certain these talented young men from Brentwood Bay area are well on their way to producing their first record.  Take a a few moments to link to their Crowd Funding Campaign and lend your support as they challenge for their place alongside the Rolling Stones Cover Band, Sheep Dog, and new young voices such as Kristin Hays, Jared Newton and Craig Strickland.
 
On an environmental note, one of the guest speakers, Dave Allan of Rhino Print Solutions, took a few minutes to acquaint the audience with the rapidly changing world of Print Media which has become, perhaps contrary to a widely held public belief, amongst the most eco friendly of industries. If you have an opportunity to listen to Dave speak about the changing status of Print Media, take a few minutes to do so.  Perhaps we can encourage Dave to prepare a U-Tube presentation!
 
Exhibits were provided by several community business owners and representatives, including our very own Lynn McNeill (Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Sidney),  Alysha Yakimishyn (YakimishynArt), and Lucas J. Copplestone (LJCArt). Another family member, Sean McNeill, was on a business trip to Toronto or he would have been present to display his new line of Burg travel watch/phones, a perfect gift for the frequent traveller. For further details link to Burg Canada.
 
A networking event for professionals, by professionals.  Thank you for a great evening.

Harold McNeill
Victoria, BC

Link Here to the Seaside Magazine celebration photos: Facebook Photos

Other Adventures in Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula

Island View Beach: Camping Close to Home

2012 Canada Day Parade Link

 

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Written by Harold McNeill on December 25th, 2012. Posted in Christmas Stories


Above: Part of the Crew from New Years: (Guys Left to right) Drew Betts, Pete Patterson, Sean McNeill, Jeremy Nichele,
Joel Sherlock, Daniel Dent, Andrew Dunn
(Girls Left to Right) Jennifer Ann, Fiona Nightingale Harvey, Alysha Yakimishyn, Keira McCreath, Gemma Kyliuk
(More Photos below and in the attached album)

Photo Below: Santa dropped by on Christmas Eve

Well, we caught Santa making his rounds last night on his recently refurbished Harley Davidson (click photo to open). On closer inspection, this guy looked suspiciously like our neighbour Ted, but we could not be sure. In any case, it was very nice of him to stop and spend a few minutes and chat. Seems he was curious as to why we had so many reindeer and elves running around our property among all the Christmas lights.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all
from the McNeill Family

(Link here to 2011 Christmas Story)

Photo Courtesy of Nichele Studios (L to R) Chris, Audrey and Christine LeClair, Lynn McNeill, Kari Walker, Grayson Walker and Harold McNeill, Sean McNeill and Jay McNeill.  Now we challenge you to figure out what is different in this picture from the original?

New Years Comments (From Facebook Post)

It was a great evening of family, friends, fun, food, music and entertainment at the Brentwood Inn as we bid farewell to that wonderful year of 2012 and welcomed with open arms a 2013 that promises to bring just as many new challenges and opportunities as did 2012. You can rest assured we worked very hard to make the transition as lively as possible.

The Staff at the Inn did an amazing job of keeping the crowd well supplied with food and drink while LJC on his non-stop turn-table brought the best of the best in music that kept the dance floor filled. His late evening rap song was a huge hit and demonstrated again just how versatile that young man is.

As added bonuses, Drew thrilled the crowd with his jazzed up Sax and Joel put on a break-dance display that was beyond impossible. Two hours later his friends were still trying to untangle the mass of legs and arms.

It was a great mix of young, the not so young and dozens of inbetweeners who shared in the evening of merriment.

Thanks to Sean and the crew for inviting us.

Happy New Year to All
The McNeill Family

Broadmead Runners Club

 

 The Broadmead Runners popped by to have their picture taken with Santa and his reindeer.

 Lynn McNeill, Dianne Mcneill, Michel Payeur, Linda and Bjorn Simonsen get up close and personal with Mr. Claus.

Part of our Happy Crew

A friend we have not met since the World Cup 2007, Sinisha Ivaz (far right), family and friends.

More pictures in the attached album

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Mount Albert Edward: An Adventure

Written by Harold McNeill on September 20th, 2012. Posted in Adventure


golden_hinde

Cover Photo (from Web). No this is not Mount Albert Edward, this is the Golden Hind, viewed from Morrison Spire (photo by  Dave Ingram). The Golden Hind, at 2200 meters (7217 feet), is the highest peak on Vancouver Island. This photo is placed here as it will serve as a challenge to Dianne and Michel who will surely stand on that peak in the not to distant future. Perhaps, just perhaps, I shall stand with them. The mountain we set about to challenge on this trip is the somewhat lessor (although not by much) Mount Albert Edward. a respectable 2100 meters (6900 feet). The twists and turns of the trip are documented in this short story of our three days in Strathcona Park.

Link Here for the Mount Colonel Foster Adventure

I am most fortunate to live within an extended family whose quest for adventure has motivated me in every decade of my life. In the recent decade, since joining Facebook, never a week goes by that the details of new adventure by some family member or friend is posted. It is the posts about real life experiences and adventures that serve as constant motivation too challenge life at every turn, not the memes and platitudes that seem to come with such frequency.

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The Grayson Chronicles: The Journey Begins

Written by Harold McNeill on August 22nd, 2012. Posted in Adventure


Grayson Walker and his Grandpa

Photo (2012): Five year old Grayson and his Grandpa get set to go hiking in the hills behind his mom’s home in Kamloops, BC. It was during the trek the two hatched their summer plans.  Join us for the Journey Begins.

Dear Reader,

The following chronicles were written during the magical summer of 2012 when five-year old Grayson Edward Walker, along with his Grandpa, Harold David McNeill, his Uncle, Jay Wesley McNeill and a family friend, Bjorn Oscar Simonsen, completed an exploratory expedition through British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. While the trip through British Columbia was relatively peaceful, once they hit the Alberta border, they entered a new and perilous world.

Fighting massive lightening and thunder storms, flooded highways, tens of thousands of monster trucks and flocks of giant, blood sucking mosquitoes hatched in the primordial settling ponds of Fort MacMurray, the intrepid explorers bravely marched across Alberta and into the largely unknown wilderness that is now known as  Saskatchewan, an immense flatland whose name originated from a river the Cree originally called “Kisiskatchewani Sipi“.  In that harsh land the group encountered buffalo as big as barns, tractors that were even bigger and giant, round bales of hay that once set rolling in a land that has become known as Tornado Alley North, farms, cities and towns were placed in immanent danger of being wiped off the map.

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Black Friday in Norway

Written by Harold McNeill on June 9th, 2012. Posted in Biographies


Above: Artists depiction of Beaufighters from the Australian 455 Squadron attacking German Ships in a Norwegian Fjord.
Along with the Australians, the RCAF (Royal Canadian) Squdron 404 (pictured below), RNZAF (Royal New Zealand), Squadron 489 and RAF (English) Squadron 144,
took part in one the the largest Air Battles to ever take place in the skies over Norway. Bert Ramsden was part of battle.

In Memory of Bert Ramsden
1921 – 2014

Bert Ramsden

November 3, 2014
Pilot Officer Bert Ramsden, the subject of this story, passed away peacefully at his home in Saanich, British Columbia. The young man who fought in the Second World War shall not be forgotten.

At the age of 93, Bert joins his beloved wife, Marie who predeceased him in 2004, as well as parents, Joseph and Mercy and brothers, Cal (Eleanor) and Cec (Bess).  Born in Castor, Alta., Bert is survived by his son, Don (Nancy); daughter, Karen (Chip); grandchildren, Andrea (Chris), Jennie (Trevor), Jon, Jamie and Jeff and great-grandchild, Zachary.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, November 14, 2014  at
St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St. Aidan’s Street in Victoria.  

Below, Pilot Officer Bert Ramsden ties his shoe on the tire of his Beaufighter.

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The following story was written after several interviews with Bert first at his home in Saanich and then at various coffee shops along Shelbourne Street during May and June 2014.  At 91, Bert was ever the affable pilot officer who was still more than able to charm the young women at our various coffee stops along the way.

The photos in this post and in the attached photo album were copied mainly from Bert’s personal files and from various Web Sites that carried information about Black Friday.  During the period of research and writing, an amazing coincidence became apparent. This coincidence was written up in a separate post that may be linked below the names of those show in the photo below.

Bert was one of the thousands of young men who left their homes, families, farms, businesses and careers to join the Second World War effort in Europe and other parts of the world.  While Bert returned home without injury, many of his comrades in arms were not so lucky and it is on November 11, each year that we celebrate these young men and the sacrifice they made to make our world a better place.  While I say that Bert returned without injury, it is clear he still carried with him, even at the age of 91, a degree of guilt that he walked away when so many of his flying comrades died in the battles in the skies above Norway and elsewhere.

We shall remember Bert.

Harold McNeill
November 9, 2014
Victoria, B.C.

Pilot Officer Bert Ramsden and the Flying 404

RCAF Squadron 404 (Circa Spring, 1945, Banff, Scotland)

Ramsden Photo Files: RCAF 404 Squadron, Bert Ramsden is standing
immediately below and to the right of the “V3“.

Ramsden and 404 Squadron

A high-resolution copy of this photo, in which all the faces and printing is clear, can be obtained by leaving a note on this posting or by sending an email to harold@mcneillifestories.com
(double click to open in a larger size)

Top Row on Wings
F/L Stewart (standing), F/O Bondy, P/O Wade, P/O Michael (standing centre), P/O Flynn (below Michael), F/L Foord (standing), F/O Nelson (front of Foord), F/O Gibbard, W/O Gracie, F/O Catrand.

Second Row Down (immediately below wing L/R)
F/S Aube(y), F/S Orser, F/O Mallilieu, F/O Williams, F/Lt Hill, F/O Cook, F/O Burns, P/O Bryce, P/O Ramsden, P/O Elliot, F/O Jones, F/O Bedwell, P/O Wright, P/O Camanella

Second Row Below Wing
F/S Henderson, F/Lt Ball, P/O Landry, F/O Aljoe, F/O Coyne, F/O Tomes, F/Lt Rancourt,
F/L Toon(e), F/Lt Jackson, F/O McKnight, P/O Temple, F/O Lee, F/O Johnson, F/O McCallan,
P/O Moe, F/O Stansak, F/O Miller, F/O Jasper.

Bottom Row (L to R)
F/O Panuk, not named, F/Lt Wilkinson, F/Lt Hill, Capt Chodoroff, S/Ld Inman, F/Lt Bolli, S/L Schoales,
W/C Pierce, S/L Christison, S/L Jones, F/L Watlington, F/L Beacook, F/L Spencer, F/L Corder
F/O Hines, F/O Keele

Missing from Photo
F/O Elbury, P/O Wallace, W/O Rumble (P/O Ramsden’s Navigator)

For an Amazing Coincidence regarding placements in the above photo
LINK HERE

To view the full set of photos of events surrounding this story:
Link here to McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page

A Pittance of Time (For Video Link Here)

Black Friday: An Epic Air Battle of World War II

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Prague: At War and at Peace

Written by Harold McNeill on May 26th, 2012. Posted in Travelogue


Photo from Painting
View of the Charles Bridge looking toward the main city centre. Paintings, sketches and drawings, such as the one above, depict various scenes around the city. Many are the work of talented young people trying to make their way in life. For a small donation, the artist allows pictures to be taken.

What ever direction you might travel in Eastern Europe, a few days in Prague is a must.  For Esther, Garth, Lynn and I, a four day extension of our Danube trip was barely enough, however we did manage to savour every last second. We would have gladly stayed for another week just to touch upon the many things that still awaited our eager senses but, alas, time (and booked flights) conspired against our wishes. For other travelers we highly recommend a minimum of one week, perhaps ten days if you can squeeze out the time. A three month stay in Prague and the surrounding country would be heaven.

As with many cities and countries in Eastern Europe emerging from thirty five years of war (World War I and II), then forty-one years of communism, peace comes with a cost, but that cost seems worth every penny in hard cash, blood, sweat and tears. Around the world we see these costs being paid everyday for a small taste of that elusive dream we call freedom. (Reference Footnote on Quebec Student Protests).

Photo (Web): This is typical of the foothill farm country through which we passed. Many of the farms along the highway had seen better times.

Our four hour bus trip from Passau, Germany then across the southern Republic, left no doubt this was a country once held by iron fists, first those of the Nazi’s during two World Wars, then during the decades of an equally brutal Soviet communist dictatorship. As we crossed the now open border from Germany, warnings were still in place advising tourists of the danger of land mines in a strip of ‘no man’s land’ between the two countries and at our one stop for refreshments at a small, remote service station, the feeling of being in another time and another place was clearly evident.

While the countryside was beautiful, much as it is in the foothills of Alberta, the mix of worn down buildings, old railway stations and broken shelters, serve as a reminder of those decades of death and brutal repression. A few stark examples of how ordinary people suffered; following the Nazi occupation, it is estimated over 155,000 persons of Jewish descent (86% of the population) died in the streets, at concentration camps or during ‘death marches’ that took place near the end of the war.

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Comments

  • 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.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold