Summerlanders provided support and assistance

On Aug. 31 I lost my favourite person in this world, my best friend and the love of my life when Joe died of a heart attack.

Dear Editor:

On Aug. 31 I lost my favourite person in this world, my best friend and the love of my life when Joe died of a heart attack.

He was only 52.

After phoning our children, Joe’s sister and my sister, I phoned Fred Steele, Joe’s best friend and my very dear friend as well.

I was devastated and in shock.

Joe and I were only days away from the start of our apple harvest when he died. I hadn’t even considered the crop when I phoned Fred and when he asked me about it I told him that it could drop on the ground. I simply didn’t have the strength to care.

Fred reminded me (quite rightly) that Joe would care and took the initiative to phone the people that needed to be contacted, like Glen Lucas from the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association.

Fred, Glen, the packinghouse and the field service then set in motion a plan to help me with the harvest of Joe’s last apple crop.

Steve Brown, our local field man organized a meeting of growers who wanted to help.

Erin Carlson stepped forward at that meeting and volunteered to organize the workers who would come to our orchard to harvest the crop.

Denise MacDonald was there to help organize the pickers and also to organize the luncheon (sponsored by the BCFGA) following Joe’s funeral.

So many details of that funeral were handled by Denise on behalf of the BCFGA.

The next morning, the pickers arrived to begin harvesting the crop. They included growers, non-growers who knew Joe, including several members of the Apple Valley Cruisers (a car club in Summerland which Joe had recently joined) and growers’ pickers. All of this at a time of year when growers are very busy and need every picker that they have – but they were willing to share them so that our crop could be harvested in a timely fashion.

There have been many more offers from people who have never strapped on a picking bag or climbed an orchard ladder – but who genuinely want to offer their help in any way that they can.

To all these people and so many more who have stepped forward – I thank you. I don’t know what I would have done without your help and support.

And to my neighbour, Joe Schmuck, a mere thank you is not enough. Joe has taken over so many of the jobs that were my Joe’s.

He hauls all the fruit into the packinghouse, mowed the orchard so that the crop could be picked, repaired the irrigation, tied branches in the orchard and has begun the process of teaching me how to operate all the orchard equipment that I will need to  be acquainted with.

Thank you Joe. You have truly been my rock.

I know that Joe would be so touched to know how a community — and in fact an entire industry — has stepped forward to help me when I needed it most. Thank you all from the bottom of my (broken) heart.

Julie Sardinha

Summerland

 

Just Posted

Living life to the fullest with Alzheimer’s – an Okanagan couple’s story

Stella Adams and Willi Brombach are making their way through the uncharted waters of Alzheimer’s

Summerland’s solar power array on schedule

Solar project nearing public consultation stage

Growth in many ways for Summerland

Looking back on 2018 and looking forward to 2019 with Mayor Toni Boot

Video: New Penticton studio is a playground for creative types

We toured Penticton’s newest creator space

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read