An elderly man and woman beside an antique red tractor red

Red tractor reborn: Cortes Island’s oldest operational vehicle proudly showcased for public viewing

By Greg Osoba, CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from

A nearly 70-year old tractor is now being proudly displayed in a spot visible to the public on Cortes Island. Co-owners Joy Shipway and George Sirk say the utility vehicle has a rich history and has performed numerous and varying jobs for its many owners over the decades.

Shipway recently moved the refurbished tractor to the end of her driveway at the intersection of Highfield and Manson roads. It’s impossible to miss with its bright red color and large and slightly imposing figure, amongst the rural forested landscape.

Shipway is proud: she says it displays a legacy of the island’s past, often forgotten with few iconic symbols still visible from the 1950s and 1960s. She adds that there’s quite a story behind how it came into her and friend Sirk’s possession.

The refurbished vintage Massey Harris tractor proudly displayed at the entrance to Joy Shipway’s Cortes Island driveway. Photo by Greg Osoba.

In a world with so many disposable and limited-life products, Shipway and Sirk say they are pleased to own an item contributing to Cortes Island’s history.

Top image credit: Joy Shipway and George Sirk, co-owners of a 1953 Massey Harris tractor, proudly display the iconic vehicle at the entrance to Shipway’s driveway. Photo by Greg Osoba.