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Summerside woman bakes treats every Christmas for officers who helped her 34 years ago

Ruth Waite has been sending a Christmas fruit cake and a chocolate cake to the Summerside Police Service station for the past 34 years to thank Deputy Chief Sinclair Walker, right, and retired Det.-Sgt. Joe Peters, left, for helping to find some of her property that was stolen in 1984.
Ruth Waite has been sending a Christmas fruit cake and a chocolate cake to the Summerside Police Service station for the past 34 years to thank Deputy Chief Sinclair Walker, right, and retired Det.-Sgt. Joe Peters, left, for helping to find some of her property that was stolen in 1984. - Colin MacLean

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The year was 1984 and Ruth Waite was visiting her mother in the old Prince County Hospital.

While she was in the facility, someone broke into her car and stole a stereo stand.

She reported the theft to the Summerside Police Services and, not long after, officers Joe Peters and Sinclair Walker found her property during a search of a suspected local drug dealer and returned it to her.

That Christmas, Waite baked two cakes – one chocolate and one fruit – and delivered them to the police station as a thank-you to the officers for their assistance.

She left instructions that Peters and Walker were to get first dibs on the treat.

Summerside Police Service Deputy Chief Sinclair Walker with one of the many fruitcakes Ruth Waite has delivered to the station over the past 34 years. -Submitted photo
Summerside Police Service Deputy Chief Sinclair Walker with one of the many fruitcakes Ruth Waite has delivered to the station over the past 34 years. -Submitted photo

“It was very good, of course,” saidWalker in an interview with the Journal Pioneer on Friday.

Waite, now 91, kept up that Christmas tradition for 34 years.

After she did it for a year or two, she felt like she should continue, she said.

“I thought they did a good turn for me, so one good turn deserves another. I don’t know, I just started it and kept on. It got so you didn’t want to quit.” 
-Ruth Waite

Waite also pointed out that, in addition to returning her property to her, Walker and Peters used to check on her Summerside home for her while she lived and worked in another part of province. She also has a personal connection to policing as her son, Roger, was an RCMP officer for more than 40 years.

“I thought they did a good turn for me, so one good turn deserves another. I don’t know, I just started it and kept on. It got so you didn’t want to quit.”  

The officers and staff at the downtown police station have certainly appreciated these special treats, said Det.-Sgt. Peters, who retired two years ago.  

“It should be said, Mrs. Waite, certainly all these years – don’t think it wasn’t appreciated, because it was,” he said, while the officers visited Waite at her Summerside home on Friday.

Some residents send along chocolates or baked goods to the police station during the holidays, said Walker, but none as faithfully or consistently as Waite.

“I just hope they can eat it when I take it there, is all,” she remarked.

“We guarantee it gets eaten,” Peters reassured her.

“It’s such a kind gesture and we appreciate it so much. It meant a lot to us and it means a lot to us for all those people who bring gifts in at Christmastime. It makes our job so much better,” added Walker.

Peters and Walker brought Waite some Christmas-themed flowers Friday, as she is turning 92 next week. It was also a thank you for her years of treats.

This will probably be the last Christmas Waite will make her cake delivery.

She has mobility issues now and will soon be moving to assisted living at Andrews of Summerside. She won’t have a kitchen of her own anymore.

It’s disappointing, she said, but she was happy to do it while she could.

“It’s going to be different for sure.”

colin.maclean@journalpioneer.com
Twitter.com/JournalPMacLean

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