by Lucie Roy
Diana Cole, Representative of Parkland and Area for Quilts of Valour-Canada (QOVC), presented seven Quilts of Valour on Friday night.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Canadian Legion in Morinville with the assistance of Legion Secretary Bev Lussier and Legion President Hal Schneider, who also thanked the veterans for their service and gave each of them a ribbon and a pin on behalf of the Branch.
“Handmade with love, respect and gratitude for your sacrifice to Canada. May the hugs stitched into this quilt give you comfort, strength and love,” reads the QOVC quilts’ panel. Cole spoke those words to each veteran,
The recipients included Peter Gougeon, who served for 20 years in the Air Force as a weapons tech, and Claude Phaneuf in the Reserves with the Sherbrooke Hussars and the Regular Force. There was also a photo of Phaneuf in his Navy uniform when he served and one of the ships he served on.
The following recipients were Maxine and Stephen Butt. Maxine served in the Navy for 34 years, and Stephen in the EME Branch for 20 years. Mike Adams served 25 years in the Army in the Sigs Branch.
The last two were Miles Miller, who served for 32 years in the Army with tours in Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan, and Steve Langston, with more than 20 years in the Air Force.
Cole said RCMP members who served on a NATO force alongside military veterans on a mission overseas also qualify.
The QOVC representative said the legion has helped assist her in finding veterans, following up and requesting quilts for the veterans.
The QOV program started in 2006 when an Edmonton quilter, Leslie Zwaal, presented quilts to three CAF members who were recovering from injuries they received in Afghanistan.
From the three quilts presented in 2006 to 2009, QOVC has presented more than 19,000 quilts since forming as a national charity in 2010.
Each quilt is unique. Each recipient has their name and a number on the quilt registered to them.
On Friday night, Cole said all the quilts had originated in Alberta, with most from an SUV load that was received with no documentation. The quote on the quilt reads from “A Grateful Quilter.”
Each quilt represents 50-60 hours of work to produce.
QOVC has quilters in Cold Lake and are looking for more quilters.
Cole spoke of the new pattern that just came out this year for backing the quilts with maple leaves, which she showed were on some of the quilts.
To nominate a Canadian military veteran from anywhere in the world, visit quiltsofvalour.ca for the application form and criteria. The approved request will be directed to the applicable representative for presentation.
QOVC recipients Claude Phaneuf, Pete Gougeon, Steve Langston, Mike Adams, Stephen Butt, Maxine Butt and Miles Miller.
Claude Phaneuf wrapped with hugs in the quilt. This quilt has the new maple leaf design.
Morinville Legion President Hal Schneider, Maxine and Stephen Butt and Diana Cole.