Letter: Ormond Beach resident remembers mother, who has a park named after her

What are your neighbors talking about this week?

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  • | 7:00 p.m. December 12, 2022
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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Remembering my mother

Dear Editor:

We get the name solstice from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). Long ago during the Winter Solstice of 1909, the darkest day of the year when the sun stood still, something magical happened. There was much rejoicing for on the very next day, Baby Ethel was born in Harlem, and the days grew brighter.

Every day, she lived on this earth she made a positive difference for someone. At a young age she served coffee and donuts to the Doughboys returning from overseas. She was a regular blood donor. She married my father, Dr. E.F. Waite and moved to this area where she taught at Mainland High School. Here, she led a life of purpose as civic leader, an advocate for the environment and for teenagers. 

She wanted doctors who specialized in adolescents to be hired at Halifax Hospital. In 1958, she made many recommendations that would improve the treatment of teenagers admitted to the hospital. 

Waite Park on the waterfront in Holly Hill is dedicated to Ethel Waite. When I was 10 years old, she stood between a large oak tree and a bulldozer. I watched and cried when the bulldozer roared going went back and forth trying to make her leave her guard. Guarding the majestic tree with her life, my mother would not move from standing in front of the tree. Finally, the bulldozer left and never came back, which is why on the Winter Solstice and the brighter days ahead, the public can drive or walk the path on Riverside Drive and enjoy the trees and natural beauty of our Intracoastal Waterway.

Barbara Sandberg

Ormond Beach

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