Throwback Thursday – Mom P.I.

When you live in the country, you watch out for your neighbours. You get to know each other’s routines and you keep an eye out for anything strange. Growing up outside of Smithville, Ontario, we saw it all. Teenagers dropping cases of beer in the reeds near our front pond for safe keeping. A neighbour’s kid, ploughing his car through our flock of ducks as they attempted to cross the road. Trespassing hunters from the city, wandering through our fields and woods, guns loaded, looking for deer. 

No one on the 4th Concession kept a more watchful eye than our Mom. We would tease her about deciding someone was up to no good just because they were driving on our road in an unfamiliar car. And then one day, she caught a bad guy.


Twenty years ago, Mom was honoured at a police ceremony in St. Catharines for preventing a break-in at our neighbour’s house, that resulted in the arrest of a career criminal. We loved the way the entry in the program was written – that she “showed no fear” and displayed “keen powers of observation” and a “sense of public duty”. It shut us up and stopped our teasing!

On a June 1996 day, she received her plaque from then-Niagara Regional Police Service Head of Special Projects, Vince Bevan. If that name seems familiar, it’s because a few years earlier he was in charge of the Green Ribbon Task Force investigating the crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. We were all there, proud to see her recognized for being the Gladys Kravitz of rural Smithville. I guess that’s where I get it from!


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