David Hobson dies

Orchard industry leader David Hobson, whose family were Kelowna pioneers, died on the weekend.

David Hobson

Orchard industry leader and member of a pioneer Kelowna family, David Hobson, died Saturday in Kelowna at the age of 65.

Hobson served on the executive of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association for 17 years, including in the top post during some turbulent times that saw him organizing a protest tractor rally along Highway 97 during his term.

He was also president of the B.C. Federation of Agriculture in 1988 and 1989, and he served as president of the Canadian Horticulture Council.

“Our grandfather settled in the Kelowna area in 1891 on a farm in Benvoulin, moving to the Mission area in 1902…so we were both brought up on the farm,” recalls his brother Robert.

Although David went into banking, he returned to the land, purchasing an orchard in the Belgo area in 1970 and working it until his retirement a few years ago.

Hobson served as vice-president of the BCFGA while Gerald Geen was president, and Geen says he was, “a great spokesman for the industry, an excellent speaker and very patient with growers.”

When he took on an issue, Geen says he was a bulldog, but he was always a gentleman.

He also served as chairman of the Economic Development Commission, president of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society and the Okanagan Mission Rotary club and was a member of the Kelowna Yacht Club.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, son Michael and daughter Heather Carter.

Services are Sat., May 26 at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 2 p.m.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com