To three generations of folks looking for tasty treats, she was simply "Pete."
However, that isn't the whole story...
Pete at work (1992)
She was born Florence Marion Garnett in April of 1926 on Deer Island to John
and Dolly along with 4 other brothers & sisters. She married Nathan "Nate"
Rubin in 1955 and had 5 children of their own.
How did Pete get her nickname? One of her brothers came up with it,
for no apparent reason, and it stuck.
Early on, it was strictly Pete but as popularity grew, staff was added. Generally, family members starting as young as age 9!
In later years, the younger employees would usually scoop the hard ice cream, while Pete held court. You always knew court was "in session" when you saw her brilliant smile, mischievous twinkle in her eye and heard her hearty, infectious laugh. If anyone wanted a banana split, though, that was strictly Pete's domain. You didn't dare make one if Pete was on the premises.
The character on the Dairy Bar sign is not actually based on Pete,
despite them both having red hair. In fact, he (or she) isn't based
on anyone in particular.
They are traditionally accompanied by a member of the RCMP (Cpl. Jonathan Nagy if he is available), as a way to teach the kids that the RCMP are "the good guys" and to not be afraid of the police. Recently, owner Mary McAdam has been stressing the importance of playing safe by wearing helmets when riding bicycles, skateboards, etc.
Pete also came up with the idea of having the kids, and their teachers, return when they graduated from high school.
"Queen Pete" takes 3rd Place in the 2002
St. George Family Fun Days parade.
Florence "Pete" Rubin
1926 ~ 2003
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