RC “Bake” Baker, for whom the road is sponsored. /Photo submitted

Family comes together to honour ‘Bake’ and keep county clean

Saturday, Sept. 19 was a perfect day – for picking up trash.

The family and friends of the late Robert Charles Baker, affectionately known as “Bake” came together to clean up a section of Little Hawk Lake Road, which is part of the Haliburton County Adopt-A-Road Program.

Bake spent many years living on Little Hawk Lake Road and as a self-employed contractor; he put in many septic systems, cleared lots, hauled gravel and plowed driveways. He was very well known in the community and while having a “gruff” side to him, would always help out his fellow neighbours, friends and was a strong supporter of the Stanhope Fire Department. Bake passed away in 2002. Several years ago, step-daughter Christine contacted the Haliburton County Adopt-A-Road Program and initiated sponsoring a section of road that Bake would have driven daily.

The family does annual clean-ups, walking along the road picking up trash from both sides of the road and in the ditches, but this year brought one of the largest family turnouts. Bake’s son Walter, his wife Donna Baker, and their granddaughter Hanna (Bake’s great-granddaughter), drove up from Cavan; other family members came from Oshawa and Peterborough as well as locally; even Bake’s partner Mary Stiver at 86 years of age.
Kathy Nesbitt, Bake’s step-daughter, says that she thinks everyone being cooped up due to COVID-19 may be the reason so many participated. “We maintained social distancing and were mindful of all sanitary precautions,” she said. “It was the first time several family members had seen each other in a very long time; and with the bridge being closed on Little Hawk Lake Road, there was much less traffic. That was nice as there were so many youngsters out this year.”

As far as the road cleanup went, everyone was surprised at how much less garbage there was this year. Only four full bags collected. Some years there has been double that. Nesbitt says “it’s sad that people still throw garbage out on the road, but seeing less is encouraging.”
To find out more about the Adopt-A-Road Program please contact the County of Haliburton at 705-286-1333.

Submitted