Delta has lost a pillar in the agricultural community.
Harold Robert Hugh Savage passed away on July 29 after a long, hard fought battle with cancer.
The Savage family emigrated from Ireland in 1886, settling on the fertile farm lands of
Ladner. He was a fourth generation Ladner farmer, having lived and farmed on Ladner Trunk Road since 1945.
For many years the Savage family owned and operated Savage Farm Equipment, supplying farm equipment, parts and service to the agricultural community in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. In addition to the equipment business, the family grew peas, beans, corn and potatoes for Safeway and other processors. Dairy cattle and a beef operation were also an early part of the family farm.
Savage represented the agricultural community as a founding director of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust. He was also a life member of the Delta Agricultural Society, serving as treasurer for more than 12 years.
Delta Farmers’ Institute president Peter Guichon recalls first meeting Savage on the fastball diamonds in Ladner.
“I first met Robert playing sports – playing fast-pitch in Memorial Park,” said Guichon. “He was playing for the Delta Police and I was playing for the Ladner Fishermen. We knew each other from the farming community. We played many years of fast-pitch together.”
Guichon said both farms swapped land over the years.
“Robert was a really good negotiator and was very good dealing with all the processing companies,” he said. “His work on the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust – getting the bird people and the farmers together on common ground – before that they were at loggerheads, but I’m sure it was his negotiating skills that fostered that and got things going.”
Guichon said Robert was a very giving person and very involved in the community.
“They supported everything. Robert believed in giving back to the community and made sure organizations gave back to the hospital and Reach,” he said.
Robert was predeceased by his parents Harold and Veronica Savage, brother John Savage, brother-in-law, George Hodgins, and sister-in-law, Susan Savage. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Daphne, daughters Barbara, Catherine (Len), and son Kevin (Karyn), and grandchildren Robbie and Amanda Field, and Kora and Kelsey Savage.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Delta Hospital Foundation in Robert's memory would be appreciated.
A Celebration of Life is planned for the fall, COVID-19 rules permitting.