Letters & Poems

The Battle Family has received over 300 letters and poems about Michael. Over 50 of those appear on the following pages. Please be patient while these pages load.

Page 1



To Martin, Stella, John & Deanna

Though I never met Michael, I feel as though I know a little of who he was from the stories I have been told by you and others. He sounds as though he was a shining light and a very special person and I am sure he is brightening other lives somewhere else now.
I feel that his spirit lives on very strongly in all of you. The kindness, joy, zest for life, enthusiasm, and smile that I have been told of I see in all of you as well.
I feel blessed to have met all of you and deeply regret not meeting Michael in person.
I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss and that my thoughts are with you.

Love Neely

I met Michael when I first arrived in Oak Bay a year and a half ago. He was truly one of the most amazing human beings that I have ever encountered, in every way. He ran our Discovery Princess charter boat for many years, and practically grew up on the docks here at the Marina. He had a way of talking to people that made you feel like there was no one else in the world at the moment - and he was the same with everyone. The Oak Bay Marine Group "family" is still struggling with the loss, and we all went to the service. It was one of those things that just seemed so unfair - he was the epitome of life and generous spirit. (I didn't even know him really well) The women adored him and the men admired him. My heart goes out to his family - there is no compensation for losing such a special person. We can only believe that he was needed somewhere else - and he honoured by the time he spent here with us. I hope his Mom is doing okay.
Author unknown

Email from Diane Pancel

Hi there John! You probably don't remember me but I sang at a school dance that you were working at with Mark Leno. My name is Diane Pancel and my boyfriend is Sean Blacquiere and he was a very close friend of Michaels. I just wanted to take the time out to say thanks for putting together such a great webpage in memory of your brother. I got the opportunity to meet Michael in the Summer of 99 at the Marina. Sean insisted that I meet him and I'm so glad that I did. Michael left such a lasting impression on me that I'll never forget him. When Michael passed away, Sean took it very hard and it bothered him that he didn't have a picture to remember him by. He just happen to stumble across your page and he was ecstatic. There isn't a day that goes by that Sean doesn't mention or talk about "Captain Mike" in such a memorable and positive way. My heart goes out to you, your parents and your sister. I hope to hear back from you but if not, take care.


Diane Pancel

Email from Peter Lagan

Dearest Battles
Thank you. His bench is in the perfect spot. It's beauty and purity serves as a pleasant reminder of a time and place that was so dear to Michael, and will remind us of who he really was; deep in thought as the sea, powerful as the strongest storm, free as the fish swimming by, witty like the seals who's sound can be thought of as boisterous laughter, resourceful as the birds who never miss a meal, playful as a puppy who pees nearby (hopefully not on the bench) and finally as caring as Mother Nature herself, watching over us day by day.

Like our memories, the bench will remain timeless, stand throughout the ages, and provide each and every one of us the opportunity to physically and spiritually visit with Michael. It's perfect.

Once again, thank you,

Love Peter.

PS your garden is beautiful too.