My experience as a new QOVC Representative in Saskatchewan Canada.
I joined the Quilts of Valour - Canada (QOVC) team in November 2015. It took me a little time to get myself organized and ready to go. But since January 2016 I have met so many great people. It is hard to put into words. As a fairly new representative it has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I had no idea that presenting quilts would bring such a flood of emotions. I have been quilting since 2005 but this has brought it to a whole new level.
I have made many quilts over the years and to me they are just quilts, But, a Quilt of Valour (QOV) means so much more to the recipients. As I write this, all the emotions come flooding back from the presentations and how much joy these QOVs bring to the recipients.
My first big event on behalf of QOVC was the Prairie Piecemaker’s Guild Quilt Show on May6/7, 2016 in Regina, Saskatchewan. I had the extreme honour and pleasure to have Mr. Dennis Biden join me in the QOVC booth for the afternoon.
I presented him his QOV in January of this year. I invited him to join me to chat to people about what a QOV means from a recipient's point of view. I can still hear him telling people the warmth he feels, from not only the physical quilt, but from all the people that took their time to make this for him. Boy was there a lot of Kleenex used that afternoon.
The Guild had asked me if I would do a presentation of QOV at the Trunk Show on the Friday evening. We were able to honour 4 veterans that evening.
In attendance from left to right, me; Regina City Councillor, Dr. Barbara Young; Recipients, Andrew Hollick, Eugene Bennett, Janet Bennett and W. John Sheppard; Mr. Warren Steinley, MLA for Regina Walsh Acres.
It was the 71st Anniversary of VE Day and we had the honour of Mr. Sheppard reading from "a letter home to mom" that he wrote on that day in 1945. We were thinking, and had Kleenex on the tables for all! A few weeks later I received an email from MLA Steinley’s office with a youtube link. Mr.Steinley spoke in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan on May 25 telling of his experience at the QOVC Presentation.
Next, it was off to Swift Current for their Quilt Show on May 14/15, 2016. I was invited by the President of Swift Current Quilt Guild (Cheryl Vangen) to attend their quilt show and to do a presentation. It was another emotional weekend for yours truly. My poor husband had no idea he had such an emotional wife, he missed the Regina weekend.
One of the recipients, Marion Miller, was not able to make it to the show to receive her QOV - so up to the hospital we go with her QOV.
Left to Right Jim Pratt, Trustee for Legion #56; Warren Mitchelson, MLA for Moose Jaw North; Recipients, Shannon Barnes, Gordon Hartley, ErvinSeibel, Frederick Barlow, Theresa Brown; Mayor of Swift Current, Jarrod Schaffer. It was a very emotional couple of weeks, but oh so worth it, when you see how happy it makes them to receive a quilt of valour! One of the recipients told me it was her most prized possession in the world.
Now to the Integrated Personnel Support Centres (IPSC) office at 15 Wing Moose Jaw on June 10, 2016. I had the pleasure and honour to present a Glorious and Free Quilt to 15 Wing Moose Jaw IPSC office. It was presented in conjunction with their Open House for the new IPSC Building. I believe there was representation from all branches of the military in attendance, as well as from the RCMP.
The ribbon cutting was done by Wing Commander Colonel Day. Left to right Major Rick Desjardins, JPSU OC Prairie Region; (unkown); Lou-Anne Lambert, Service Manager IPSC; 15 Wing Commander, Colonel Day. My apologies for not getting the names of all the COs that were in attendance. Lou-Anne Lambert is my contact at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. I give the QOVs to her to present to the ill and injured.
It was Lou-Anne Lambert's idea to do the presentation at the same time as their open house. I gave her the dimensions of the quilt and the approximate diameter of rod that would be needed to hang the quilt. They had the rod on the wall and ready when I arrived. Let me tell you.... there is no way anyone is going to get that quilt off their wall.
The quilting was done by a friend of mine, Karen Schultz, and it was beautiful. She even stitched all the provinces into the quilt. On the bottom left hand corner she stitched in "IPSC 15 Wing Moose Jaw". They were all thrilled to have received this quilt for their office and thanked me for all the great work Quilts of Valour- Canada does for them. There was one comment that was said to me that day that will stay with me for a long time. "We broke them, now we have to fix them".
A huge THANK YOU to all the quilters that make these QOVs for us to present. You make our duties so rewarding. We have a great country and live the lives we do, because of the brave men and women who have fought, or continue to fight, for our country and defend our freedom. Through Quilts of Valour - Canada I am able do my small part to say thankyou for their service and sacrifice.