Former BCFGA president dies suddenly

Joe Sardinha, former president of the fruit growers' association, is dead at 52.

Former B.C. Fruit Growers' Association president Joe Sardinha dies.

Orchardist Joe Sardinha of Summerland, a past-president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, died suddenly Saturday night of a heart attack at the age of 52.

He was president from 2005 to 2011 and had served on the executive for four years prior to that, including in the post of vice-president with Penny Gambell of Lake Country in the top post. It was when she retired after four years as president, and 11 in total on the executive, that he moved into the top spot.

Sardinha took over during a turbulent time for growers, in an organization that had experienced a roller coaster ride of ups and downs over its 124 years.

During his time at the helm, the organization embarked on an industry strategy for the future that included an action plan of five key items.

Re-structuring of the industry, including amalgamation of the major packinghouses, was completed during his term, along with integration of the packinghouse and marketing arm, B.C. Tree Fruits.

Coordination and promotion of new varieties of tree fruits was another focus of the plan, and much of that also was carried out while he was president.

In addition to his work with the BCFGA and on his orchard, Sardinha served on the B.C. Agriculture Council; was a director of the Canadian Horticulture Council; vice-chair of the council’s apple working group; represented B.C. on the Canadian Federation of Labour national council; served on the province’s Growing Forward Advisory Committee and the provincial Risk Management Advisory committee.

Sardinha grew up in the industry, following in his father’s footsteps, after the family emigrated from Portugal when he was just four.

His family purchased its own orchard in Summerland after working in the industry for more than a decade in the Similkameen.

He met his wife Julie at university and the couple decided they wanted their own orchard, even though she didn’t have a background in farming.

They partnered with his parents and leased additional acreage in Summerland, for a total of 20 acres in orchard. The year before Sardinha was elected president, that was reduced to the 11 acres they currently farm, most of it in apples.

Current BCFGA president Jeet Dukhia said his death was totally unexpected. Everywhere he went, he said people asked about Joe, and all had respect for him.

“He loved his family, farming and the farm community. I speak for all tree fruit growers in saying we are deeply saddened by this news,” he said.

Joe was pre-deceased just two years ago by his father Jack and is survived by his wife Julie and two grown children.



Just Posted

Wrestlers invade Kelowna and Vernon

Wrestling events this weekend benefit numerous Okanagan charities

Kelowna gallery exhibition features relic-like art

Immaculate Deception, by Penticton artist Johann Wessels, will be displayed until July

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Peppa Pig draws a crowd

Okanagan toddlers squirming with excitement over Peppa Pig

Penticton Speedway cleaning up landslide

Owner Johnny Aantjes expects the slide to be cleaned up in time for the next race on Sunday

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Fighting racism is society’s job

BC Hockey’s plan to provide an education package makes a good first step

Proclaimers walk through the Okanagan

The Proclaimers play Vernon Sept. 11. Tickets on sale now through the Ticket Seller

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Glass Tiger rocks the Okanagan

Tickets go on sale April 27

Most Read