BEAUDESERT police has thanked a NSW couple for consistently showing up at the Queensland border at Rathdowney to deliver home cooked meals and treats.
Acting officer-in-charge Natalie Cole joined Superintendent Mel Adams, Inspector Tracy Dale and Rathdowney border staff Senior Contables Peter Lane and Anthony Fishburn met with the Alice and Cecil Stubbings this week to say thank you.
Senior Sergeant Cole said the couple had kept local officers well fed since Beaudesert police were charged with monitoring the border near Rathdowney after COVID-19 restrictions were enacted.
"Alice and Cecil have gone out of their way to regularly prepare, bake and deliver homemade produce to our serving border staff," she said.
"They have continued this service to our policing members since the commencement of our border closures. Their service is voluntary and at an expense to themselves, which has not deterred them from their regular deliveries of heartfelt homemade goodies.
"Their food has been the topic of conversation within the Queensland Police Service and all staff who have worked on the border really appreciate the generosity."
Sergeant Cole said the Stubbings' first took food to the border staff because it was a really cold night.
"They did this at a number of border crossings feeling the need to give back to our officers for the hard work they were doing," she said.
Mrs Stubbings said cooking was something she loved doing, having previously contributed to Pink Ribbon Day and Camp Quality, causes close to her heart as she and her son have both had ongoing battles with cancer.
The Stubbings live in Urbanville NSW, 27 kilometres from the border and regularly visited their son in Boonah but they staggered their food deliveries so shift work officers would not miss out.
The idea started because of winter weather. "One day it was freezing here and I said to Cecil, 'I wonder if those police have anything hot to eat'. I made some scones and as soon as they were out of the oven we took them to the border gate," she said.
"The police were really excited and it was just warm scones. We were given a lot of eggs and I like to cook so we just decided to keep doing it.
"We took them some pumpkin soup and also some tomato soup. One of the police officers asked for the recipe and I told him it was just made from tomatoes I had in the freezer but he said it was beautiful."
During the first couple of months of border control, Sergeant Cole said Mrs Cole was unwell and the couple could not make their deliveries.
"Our border staff became worried about her and ultimately made inquiries with NSW police concerned for both Alice and Cecil's health," she said.
"Police from both Queensland and NSW were on the hunt looking for the pair."
Mrs Stubbings said she had been in hospital but when she got home, she made some fresh biscuits for police.
"I didn't even know if they would still be there," she said. "But they were so glad to see us. They said they looked forward to seeing our car come up the road."
On October 20 Beaudesert Police with help from the border staff invited the couple to pay another visit.
Officers from Beaudesert, Rathdowney, Road Policing Unit and Logan District turned up to surprise the pair with flowers, a gift card and a certificate of appreciation.
"It was a total surprise, we haven't told anyone we've done this and we wouldn't even give police our names at first," Mrs Stubbings said.
"I just thought I was doing something that would make their day, because they do a damn good job and they do get a raw deal at times.
"I grew up in an orphanage, we were always hungry. I hate wasting food and we had a lot of eggs and some pumpkins.
"It turned out they have made my day. They made me feel about 10 feet tall and really like I was worth something.
"They said we have to spend the gift card on ourselves. On our 50th wedding anniversary I was just getting over chemo but in February we will have been married for 55 years, so we will use the card for a weekend away."