Regina cookie lady gets a new roof from firefighters

A Regina woman who regularly baked cookies for the neighbourhood fire hall received a surprise roofing job.

Diane Duke shared baked items once a week for 12 years

Diane Duke was surprised, and delighted, when local firefighters repaid her kindness with a roof shingling job. (CBC)

A Regina woman who regularly baked cookies for a neighbourhood fire hall received a surprise roofing job.

Once a week for 12 years, Diane Duke would stop at Fire Hall No. 4 on her way home from work with tasty treats for the firefighters.

She had to stop in 2013, however, as her husband Lorne had fallen ill and she was devoting all her time to helping him.

Duke said it was tough to end the weekly visits.

"It was hard to say goodbye to them," Duke said. "I couldn't even say goodbye actually. I walked in that day, said I'm finished ... and I walked out crying."

The firefighters only recently learned of the reason Duke had to spend more time at home and when one of them also found out that the Dukes needed a new roof, a gesture of appreciation was quickly put together.

With materials donated from Dynamic Roofing and Kenroc, members of the Regina Firefighters Local 181 surprised Duke and her husband with new shingles for the roofs of their home and garage.

"We have 15 to 20 guys here right now," Chris Prohar, from the local, said. "Everyone's helping out. Shouldn't take too long. Two hours of work probably."

Duke was moved by the kindness.

"I can't even say anything because it's just overwhelming," she said. "I don't deserve it."

Prohar said Duke was a good friend to the fire hall and the members were delighted to have found a way to repay her kindness.

"All I can say is that for us to give back to her is nothing," he said. "For us to give her a day when she gave us so many days in [all the] years."

Diane Duke was ready with cookies for the firefighters who donated labour to shingle her roof. (CBC)
Fittingly, Duke got to work in the kitchen and, by the time the roof work was done, she was ready with a tray of cookies for the volunteers.

Duke said she hopes to return to the routine but added that the only thing she asks for, in return, is a hug.

Her husband, who was near death, has been improving — and there is a story in that, too.

Duke said that a few months ago Lorne was on life support and the night before he was to be taken off, he woke up and has been making a recovery.

With files from CBC's Adam Hunter