Jack McNeill holding a copy of his book, Forty Years Throttle to Bottle. (Morgan Cross Photo)

Sidney businessman, author to be posthumously inducted into BC Aviation Hall of Fame

Local Jack McNeill flew planes then ran Boondocks, Mary’s Bleue Moon and Theo’s Place

The author of Throttle to Bottle is to be posthumously inducted into the B.C. Aviation Hall of Fame this month.

Jack McNeill, who ran a number of popular local bars and restaurants over his 55-year residence in Sidney, is to be celebrated on July 18 at the BC Aviation Museum. Eleanor Eastick, herself a pilot, co-wrote McNeill’s book and says he flew all types of aircraft, from LearJets to a host of amphibious planes.

ALSO READ: Sidney Fire’s oldest living member dies, aged 83

“It was hard to get going on the book as you don’t know where to start,” she says of McNeill’s rich life, “Once we started it just went ripping on but Jack wasn’t very well at this time. He said time was short and indeed the book was published a couple of months before he died.”

McNeill died on Nov. 21, 2017 aged 85, but had a colourful life, running Boondocks Pub, Mary’s Bleue Cafe and Theo’s Place. He came from an energetic family with his love of flying seemingly in his genes. His grandfather moved to Edmonton from Glasgow and promptly founded McNeill’s Field, the first airport in Canada, which later became Edmonton Municipal Airport. He was later named an Albertan Man of the Century in 2005.

ALSO READ: Packed Canada Day in Sidney sees parade, dog show and a helicopter rescue

After a stint working in the Alberta oilfields in 1947, McNeill embarked on a long aviation career seeing service with Pacific Western Airlines, “Flying Phil” Gaglardi and assisting the B.C. government with pilot training. McNeill was something of a pioneer and worked hard to formalize many of B.C.’s aviation procedures and standards, especially when it came to safety. He became director of Flight Operations and chief executive check pilot on all land and sea aircraft operated by the government of B.C. Eastick says McNeill’s work directly contributed to BC Air Services enjoying an accident-free period between 1974 – 1994.

Throttle to Bottle is described as a light-hearted look at McNeill’s life and the memoir also includes his work on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line during the height of the Cold War and his involvement with the Social Credit Party.

ALSO READ: Kids bored already? Check out the CRD’s nature walks for a squawkin’ good time

His induction to the BC Aviation Hall of Fame on July 18 is described as a private affair, but Eastick says the recognition of his work will fill all those who knew him with pride.

Throttle to Bottle can be purchased at Tanner’s Books and Boondocks Pub. Visit Tanner’s website at Tannersbooks.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay, Esquimalt firefighters headed up the big climb Sunday

Oak Bay firefighter joins former Esquimalt assistant chief for 48-storey stair climb

Development will bring 77 new homes to Colwood

Developers preparing land for six-storey, four-storey and two three-storey buildings on Sooke Road

Kids learn the ropes of business with free UVic entreprenuership training

The second annual Kidovate program is now open for registration

VicPD arrest man after hours-long barricade on Pandora Avenue

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called in to assist

PHOTOS: BC Children’s lottery offers luxury downtown Victoria home as a prize

The Choices Lotto has luxury homes across the province

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read