Long Time Member & Past President Accepts Life Member Award

12.03.15-Award-Winner200 copy Craig Lewis Accepts Award At the 2012 Western Canada Turfgrass Association Awards Ceremony, held directly after the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, January 22nd, Craig Lewis, 1990 President, accepted the association’s highest honour.

Craig become only the 36th person to have received the WCTA Life Member Award following in the footsteps of those that came before him who were dedicated to serving the association and the turfgrass industry at the highest level. In a heartfelt presentation, Jeff Bennett, WCTA Board Member and Superintendent of the Okanagan Golf Club and Barry Evans, Superintendent of the Kelowna Golf Club, outlined Craig’s history and dedication to the profession.

Craig studied Horticulture at BCIT and BC Vocational, while apprenticing with the corporation of Surrey. He obtained his journeyman papers in horticulture in the early 1970s. After finishing school Craig, along with wife Judy, moved to the Okanagan where he became the golf course superintendent at Spallumcheen in Vernon. Two years later, they moved back to Surrey where Craig became a Technical sales representative for O.M Scotts and Sons. He sold fertilizer and seed to superintendents and municipalities in both BC and Alberta.

In 1979 Craig moved back to the Okanagan, this time to fill the superintendent position at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club. That position was vacated by Ashley Legyt who left to build Kelowna Pines( which became Gallaghers Canyon Golf Resort). He worked at KGCC for almost 14 years.

Craig left Kelowna in 1991 to fulfill a lifelong goal of constructing a golf course, Quail Ridge (Okanagan Golf Club). Once Quail was completed Craig left shortly after to try construction again. This next opportunity was in Cranbrook to build and develop the St. Eugene Mission Golf course. Unfortunately, St, Eugene struggled financially and Craig was forced to make the tough decision of leaving. He still had a house and Family in Kelowna and needed to be making money.

Craig then called on his good friend Warren Radomsky for a job. Warren was busy in Calgary renovating golf courses and quickly put Craig to work.

12.03.15-group454 ‘Barry Evans (left) and Jeff Bennett (right) present Craig Lewis WCTA Life Member award

In 1996 the KGCC rehired Craig where he stayed until the spring of 2011. In total Craig spent nearly 29 years working for the KGCC. Craig’s son Graham currently works at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club as an irrigation assistant. 

While at the KGCC, Craig was the host superintendent for many prestigious tournaments. Canadian Junior , BC Amateur, BC Junior, BC Junior Masters, BC Senior Ladies, World Left Handers, and 27 Ogopogo Championships.

To those he mentored, Craig stressed the importance of education and belonging to associations. He donated many hours to the associations he belonged to and served as a BCGSA board member, BCGSA President, WCTA Board Member, WCTA President and BC representative to the CGSA. Craig was often heard to say that if you could only attend one conference, make sure it was the WCTA.

In a follow-up email, Craig stated, "The WCTA has been a shining light and an unfailing source of the kind of knowledge, information and fellowship that we all require in order to succeed in this industry. I look forward to future magazines and conferences as they will allow me to stay abreast of the turf industry and more importantly, all of those in the turf industry. Please convey my gratitude to the WCTA Board , thank you all and best of luck in the years to come."

Editor’s note: On behalf of all WCTA members, thank you Craig for your dedication and hard work throughout a long and successful career in the turf and golf industry. All the best and we certainly will stay in touch!