Fraser McColl dies at 84
Victoria entrepreneur ‘just loved a challenge’
Fraser McColl, one of Victoria’s best-known developers and part-owner of the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars for a decade, has died at age 84.
McColl, who had been ill for some time, died on Saturday.
McColl travelled the world, investing in everything from the oil industry to wax museums in Japan to tramp steamers in the Caribbean.
“He just loved a challenge,” his son A. Fraser McColl said yesterday.
Medical issues were part of McColl’s life for decades. “He had his first heart attack when he was 49, barging an entire oil field’s equipment out of the jungle” in South America. “He didn’t even realize he had a heart attack until he got home. He was just doing absolutely wild things,” his son said.
Despite his enormous success in business, McColl was down to earth and interested in everyone he met.
He shared ownership of the Cougars from 1979 to 1989, guiding the team to some of the most successful years in franchise history, including the WHL championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup national junior championship in 1981.
In those years, you’d find him sitting, wearing a trench coat and cardigan, among the crowd during games at the Memorial Arena. Cougars supporters and opposing team officials would all head over to speak with him.
A submariner during the Second World War, McColl worked for Royal Dutch Shell in Venezuela and the Middle East before moving to Victoria.
“He had an adventurous life,” his son said.
McColl became an active developer in Victoria and, in partnership with other builders, created the massive Broadmead and Wedgewood neighbourhoods. He later went on to develop projects throughout B.C., Florida and Colorado. McColl was also one of the founding partners of Stagecoach Buses UK.