Keeping You Posted…What’s Happening in Port McNeill

Spring has arrived. The day are longer. Warmer. And the sunshine. Is it just me or is everyone smiling lol. Local garden centres are getting ready for their first shipment of flowers. The Volunteer Fire Department is sporting a brand new facade. There are yard renos and road works happening all over town. Things are happening !!

There was big excitement at CFI Gym on Saturday March 16th for the Mount Waddington Special Olympics annual powerlifting competition. The gym is home to the Port McNeill powerlifting group called “Team Chisel” and they welcomed visitors the “Courtenay Crushers” to this year’s exhibition.

Meet Team Chisel: Thomas Tinney “Bam, Bam,” Anthony Schofield “The Hulk,” John Bee “Ninja,” and Dominic Parsons “Dominator”

Family, friends and community members watched the two teams as they competed in squat, bench press and deadlift events. The crowd cheered on the athletes as they made personal bests. John Bee, who weighs 160 pounds smashed his own record on the deadlift picking up an impressive 365 pounds — more than twice his own weight.

Volunteers (including members of the local RCMP detachment) assisted loading the weights, spotting the athletes, judging the lifts, keeping track of scores and serving refreshments and snacks to athletes and spectators.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10am the athletes hit the gym with coaches Chris Stewart and Rob Engel. When asked about his thoughts about the event Coach Engel said:

“It’s all about seeing “the kids have that moment of glory, where they have that recognition, the growth and confidence it gives them makes it all worthwhile.”

Team Chisel is getting ready for a big road trip to the upcoming Special Olympics BC Power Lifting competition in Victoria May 5th.

Looking for a fun night out? Spaghetti Night at the “A-Frame Church” is a regular monthly event and open to the community. Singles, couples and families are all welcome. Dinner is served in the A-Frame Bookstore. RSVP in advance if you can or just show up for a delicious homemade meal.

Come and find out more about Phase 3 of the Rotary Trail at this year’s Spring Fling. The evening includes dinner, entertainment and a live auction with all funds going to the trail extension. And mark your calendar for the annual Rugged & Wild Race on May 4th. Walk, run or bike the 5km or 10km route to raise awareness & funds for the trail.

The epitome of shopping local — the Farmer’s & Artisans Market has a strict make-bake-grow mandate. Always offering a wide variety of edibles like fresh eggs, jam & jellies, produce, pastries and baked goodies along with original art, greeting cards, soaps and and so much more. May 4th the market will be set up at the Rotary Club’s Rugged & Wild Race and then takes place every other Saturday from 10am-2pm until September 24rd at the Port McNeill harbour. Helpful hint: arrive right at 10am for the best selection.

Another popular event is the upcoming Ladies Only event “On the Rocks.” Browse & shop at the 20+ vendor tables, sign up for a spa treatment or sit and visit. The event is licensed and there will be appys for sale.

Not sure where to access what’s happening in Port McNeill? There are some great links on Facebook including:

  • Who says there isn’t anything to do on the North Island?
  • Port McNeill Community Events
  • Shout Out to Port McNeill
  • Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Town of Port McNeill

If you’re still kicking it old school there are bulletin boards located at:

  • Port McNeill Post Office
  • IGA
  • Port McNeill Laundromat
  • Tia’s Cafe
  • Many store windows.

Check out this comprehensive list of community and recreation groups on the Town of Port McNeill website:

There are two weekly regional newspapers North Island Gazette and The North Island Eagle which both include a community events calendar for the whole North Island

Climbing to the top…

Saturday night the hottest ticket in town was the 2nd Annual Rotary Spring Fling.  The Rotary Club of Port McNeill created the event last year to raise awareness and funds for an indoor climbing wall in the North Island Secondary School gym.  For many of the 100+ people in attendance it was their first view of the completed wall.  Interested climbers quickly signed a waiver, donned the proper gear and strategized their route of footholds to the top.

Acoustics in a school gym are always a challenge but local band The Shifters was a crowd pleaser performing sing along, make you want to dance oldies but goodies.

Well done !! to the 24 students involved in setting up the venue, meal prep and serving the meal.  Some of them are Interact members which is a service club for young people ages 12 to 18, sponsored & supported by the Rotary Club.  Interact fosters leadership, service to others and international understanding.  And a shout out to all the cooks in the kitchen — dinner was absolutely delicious !!  Big bowls of Greek and Caesar salad followed by a generous serving of lasagna. Garlic heaven !!  For those that still had room (heck ya I did) there was an ice-cream sundae bar with choices of sorbet, ice-cream, sprinkles and sauce.

After dinner the Masters of Ceremony Chris Stewart and Cheryl Jorgenson (who were an awesome tag team and no they didn’t pay me to say that) outlined the history of the climbing wall and the ongoing efforts.  The main focus of the this year’s fundraising however is the Rotary Trail.  Phase 1 of the trail leads from the intersection of Mine Road & Campbell Way to Hwy 19.  Phase 2 continued the trail from the t-intersection heading north to the first logging road creating a huge loop.  The vision is to extend the trail from the t-intersection of Hwy 19 & Campbell Way south to the airport.


After the dinner plates were cleared away the live auction started.  So here’s how it worked.  Donated items displayed on the tables were all numbered.  That number was placed in a helium balloon.  Then the auctioneers would tell us which category the balloon was in — either $30 to $50 range or $50 & up range. The successful bidder would then be given the balloon to pop and find out what number item they’d won.  Being a multi-generational event the first items were geared to the younger guests.  When all the balloons were purchased the auction moved onto the bigger items in a real live auction.  There was a signed Trevor Linden jersey, a trip to Nimmo Bay Resort, a helicopter ride with West Coast Helicopters and loads of gift certificates.

When I asked Rotary President Deborah Murray yesterday how much money they’d raised she told me they don’t have a final tally yet but it was a very successful event.

Coming up Saturday May 6th is the first Rugged & Wild Rotary Race a 10km run/walk/bike race.  Entry is $10 and there will be entertainment at the start/finish line.  The Farmer’s Market will also be set up onsite.  Murray envisions the race morphing into something runners/walkers will add to their list of events.  Next year there will be timers and participants will be given a number.

For more information visit on the race or Rotary Club please visit: