Tribute to Dave McCallum

A short time later Dave held a seat as a grower’s director with Port Elgin Pumpkinfest. Back in those days growing information was not as readily available as it is today. Dave realized this, and was one of the key players in organizing the first provincial growing seminar held at the University of Guelph in the 90’s. Eventually the seminars matured into the International Giant Pumpkin Growers Seminar in Niagara Falls. Dave served as MC for these growing seminars for many years and did an excellent job. Dave helped start the orange jacket award. While he was on the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest committee it was decided to honour the biggest Canadian pumpkin grower each year with a crested orange jacket. This later transformed into the International Orange Jacket award, that we have today. Dave joined the GPC committee in 2002 and served in many rolls until 2007. He was also the GPC’s first vice president. In 2005 Dave played a big part in the creation of the Giant Vegetable Growers of Ontario. He was inducted into the GVGO hall of fame in 2008 for all his dedicated work with the club. Also, Dave was inducted into the GPC’s hall of fame in 2009. Dave served as president of the Woodbridge Fair many years ago. In recent years he was heavily involved in the founding and operation of the Woodbridge Fair Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off. Dave was a fantastic ambassador of this hobby and his infectious smile warmed your heart and always made you feel welcomed. He was more than willing to help others when asked. In the early 2000’s Port Elgin Pumpkinfest had an award with a points system that looked very much like the master grower category that we have today. They called it the “Champion Grower”. The winner would be crowned King or Queen of the growers at the closing of the competition. Dave won that award in 2000 and again in 2002. He proudly wore the cape and crown holding the golden hoe as his scepter. Ever since that day Dave has been affectionately known locally as the “Pumpkin King”. Dave’s family meant the world to him and we offer our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Barb and children Paul (Shelley), Robin (Tatyana) and Karen. He will be remembered by his eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Rest in peace “Pumpkin King”, your memory will never fade.

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Dave McCallum of Hanover, Ontario, Canada passed away after a short illness on January 12, 2022; he was 78 years old. In Dave’s early years he was a farmer and later in life got into sales. About 30 years ago, Dave decided he would like to grow a giant pumpkin for the local weigh off in Port Elgin. He obtained some seeds from Howard Dill and grew his first Atlantic Giant Pumpkin, from that point he was hooked.

SEED SORTING
Seed Sorting done by Jeff Warner. Send only pre-packed and labeled seeds for distribution to:
Jeff Warner
487413 Aidie Creek Rd,
Englehart, ON P0J 1H0  
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The GVGO is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growing of giant vegetables for the purpose of competition, display and enjoyment. We are a family oriented group of gardening enthusiasts, formed to unite all the giant vegetable growers of Ontario & Canada by promoting and sharing our vast knowledge and experience with all growers.

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