A tractor parade will be held on July 19 in honour of Stewart Russell, owner of Russell Farms, who died last week. (File photo)

Tractor parade to honour Russell Stewart

Memorial service to held on July 19

Farmers from all over the Cowichan Valley will do their part to honour Russell Stewart, the owner of Russell Farms Market, who died last week at the age of 78.

Don Allingham, a farmer from Chemainus who knew Stewart for 55 years, said local farmers are planning a tractor parade on July 19 from Russell Farms to Cowichan Exhibition Park, where a memorial service for Stewart will be held at Mellor Hall.

He said Stewart was well known in the Cowichan Valley for spending a lot of time working on his tractor on farmland around the market, so farmers who want to show him their respects plan to drive approximately 50 tractors of all shapes and sizes to his memorial service.

Allingham said Stewart’s long-time friend Ronny Hawk will have the honour of driving Stewart’s tractor at the head of the procession.

He said the parade will begin at Russell Farms at 11 a.m., cross the highway and head south on Westholme Road to Bell McKinnon Road picking up tractors all along the way.

Allingham said the tractors will gather in the parking lot of Mount Sicker Logging before crossing the highway again at Mays Road to Cowichan Exhibition Park for the service, which begins at 1 p.m.

Allingham said Stewart had a lot of friends in the Valley and beyond.

“Everyone is saying Russell was a great man, but it’s a fact that he truly was,” he said.

“He just loved to give. His passing brings tears to my eyes.”

For more information on the parade, call Allingham at 250-709-5258.