Grete Hale, iconic philanthropist and new author, spoke to a small gathering at the Palms Sunday afternoon. Grete, one of a triumvirate of famous Ottawa sisters – Jean Pigott, who was head of the National Capital Commission and Gay Cook, well known Ottawa chef and food writer who writes for this Millstone are her siblings. She has had a fascinating, and as she herself says, blessed life. She recounted the stories of her father’s travails and successes as owner of Morrisson Lamothe Bakeries which has now morphed into a food company supplying private labels to various grocers and restaurants, and her parents’ devotion to helping others and getting things done.
Like the rest of her family, Grete is a fascinating story teller and held her audience spell bound for a good part of a November afternoon.
Grete and her sisters have themselves accomplished much. Grete was in charge of the twenty foot cake baked by her family bakery for Canada’s centennial and she has never stopped giving, accomplishing and fundraising. She is a staple of prestigious boards of directors about Ottawa and is currently involved in setting up a trade school and dormitory for female students in Uganda. All of her projects have come about as a result of her deep involvement in the community and her personal contacts.
When Grete disciplined herself to write down, day by day, the many fascinating stories of her life and that of her family, the Ottawa Citizen asked to be publisher of them. Thus was born “The Baker’s Daughter”, her first book.