Challenging two Guinness World Records with threshing machines and a cancer pink ribbon

(Charles McGuire of Chapeau, Quebec sitting atop his 1955 Massey-Harris tractor that will be used to power his 1948 George White No. 6 threshing machine at the Guinness World Record event in St. Albert, Ontario on August 11, 2019. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Editor’s Note: Congratulations are in order to all of the organizers, participants and volunteers who participated in the successful challenge of setting the Guinness World Record for threshers. With 243 machines operating the 2016 record was surpassed. With a need for only 5 more people, the Guinness World Record for the largest human pink ribbon for breast cancer was not successful.

Local farmers from Stittsville and the Ottawa Valley have tuned up their tractors and antique threshing machines bringing them to perfect running order in anticipation of breaking a world record. The hopeful entrants — over 250 in all are expected — are en route this week to challenge an existing Guinness World Record. They will do this by running the machines non-stop for 15 minutes. It is taking place this weekend – August 10 and 11 – in St. Albert, Ontario.

The local farmers, and the brand of threshers, from the Ottawa Valley who have entered this challege —

  • Ross Graham of Stittsville bringing his Massey-Harris No. 6;
  • Dave Ostrom of Ashton and his Massey-Harris No. 6;
  • Robert MacPherson of Kanata and his Ferguson Thresher;
  • Dean Barry of Arnprior with his International Ground Hog;
  • Ian and Patricia MacDonald of Lanark with their Massey-Harris No. 6;
  • Kevin Ryan (and his son) of Lanark accompanied by their Sterling 1914;
  • Charlie McGuire of Chapeau, Québec with his 1948 George White #6;
  • Dave Needham of Arnprior with his 1950 Mount Forest;
  • Ken Scharf of Dunrobin is bringing his Moody;
  • Scott David of Carleton Place has entered his Massey-Harris; and
  • Valleyview Little Animal Farm in Nepean with their Dion.

Other entrants are coming from as far away as Saskatchewan and Vermont. This will definitely be a sight to be seen!

What is a thresher? A thresher is a piece of farm equipment that was used for separating wheat, peas, soybeans, and other small grain and seed crops from their chaff and straw and were powered by steam engines or tractors. Combines are the modern machinery used in today’s farming operations and replaced the antique thresher.

         (Front side (photo left) and back side (photo right) of a 1948 George White No. 6 Threshing machine owned by Charles McGuire. Photo: Stittsville Central)
         (Photo left – the emblem on the 1948 threshing machine. Photo right – the 1955 Massey Harris tractor engine will be used to power the thresher. Photo: Stittsville Central)

It all began back in 2015, when Mr. Francois Latour of St. Albert, had held the event and set a Guinness World Record for 111 threshing machines running at that time. Latour’s record was overturned in 2016 when 139 machines set a new record in Austin, Manitoba. Latour, with well over 100 volunteers on the organization committee for this year’s huge event, has been planning for two years to beat the current record.

In 2015, Latour’s wife was fighting breast cancer and lost her life in that year. In memory of his wife, Latour decided to attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the largest human pink ribbon for breast cancer at the event this year. The current record is 8,264 people, but Latour is hoping to have closer to 9,000 help him be successful and fund raise $100,000 doing so. Latour said, “we are asking participants to all wear pink”.

(Charles McGuire and his family outfitted in pink to participate in the Guinness World Record for the largest human pink ribbon for cancer. Photo submitted by Charles McGuire)

The threshing world record setting effort takes place at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 11th, followed by the attempt to set a new world record for largest human ribbon for breast cancer happening at 3:00 pm.

“It has taken two years to organize and will make use of a minimum of 2,000 volunteers on the event day,” said Latour.

The two record-breaking events take place in a field of 30 acres beside the St. Albert’s Cheese Factory at 150 St. Paul Street in St. Albert.

Looking for something different to do this weekend – come out to see some historical farm equipment in action while setting a new 2019 Guinness World Record and join in Mr. Latour’s attempt to set the world record for the largest human pink ribbon for breast cancer.

Editor’s Note: Keith Hobbs, former President of the Goulbourn Museum Board, and Charles McGuire of Chapeau, Québec, and well-known to the local heavy horse crowd, brought this Guinness World Record challenge to our attention and is much appreciated.


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