Bonnie O’Neill photo.                                Joyce Norberg (left) and Vivian MacNeil present Gordon Keener, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 139 president, with a handmade Quilt of Valor donated by the Horse Lake Quilters for local veterans.

Bonnie O’Neill photo. Joyce Norberg (left) and Vivian MacNeil present Gordon Keener, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 139 president, with a handmade Quilt of Valor donated by the Horse Lake Quilters for local veterans.

Quilts of Valor provide comfort for Williams Lake veterans

Handmade quilts from Horse Lake given to local vets

When local veteran Gordon Keener was presented with a beautiful quilt at a legion general meeting, “it made his eyes water,” said Vivian MacNeil, first vice president of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 139.

“It caught me off guard,” said Keener.

The quilt is the first of several Quilts of Valor to be awarded to a local veteran.

Donated by the Horse Lake Quilters near 100 Mile House, they are part of a program across Canada where quilters make and give quilts to injured Canadian Armed Forces members, past and present.

After the Horse Lake Quilters exhausted their list of local veterans, they still had quilts left over.

“We started out to give quilts to people returning from Afghanistan — that was the initial push, so we sent a lot of quilts to various places, Vancouver and then they were distributed across Canada from there,” said Nancy Meville, a member of the Horse Lake Quilters.

“And then we worked our way through,” she says. “World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War — he must have been a Canadian that served because other Canadians didn’t — and then peacekeepers.”

Meville then reached out to the Williams Lake legion to give them their remaining quilts.

MacNeil is part of a committee charged with handing the quilts out to Williams Lake and area veterans.

Keener as the first choice seemed obvious, she said.

“He’s been ours here for a number of years and he has had some issues with PTSD and he has been very deserving of having a quilt,” said MacNeil.

“It was just to let him know how much we care.”

Keener is the president of the local legion, and served in the Third Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry out of Victoria starting in 1981. Keener served as a peacekeeper in Cyprus in 1988.

“It’s an honour — what the quilts are for and actually receiving one is an honour. I’ve seen them presented to some of my ex-military friends across Canada,” he said.

“It’s them saying we recognize you. You have some issues you are dealing with and this is to comfort you for those issues.”

Both MacNeil and Keener extended a special thank you to the Horse Lake Quilters who made the quilts.

MacNeil said she had Keener’s wife Terry come by to pick out a quilt she knew Keener would appreciate.

“It’s a treasure,” said Keener.

“It’s coming out on special occasions, just like my regimental flag.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lotte Obergfell at the age of 21. (Photo submitted)
Smart 55: Lotte Obergfell of Williams Lake will celebrate her 100th birthday on March 10

She still feels healthy but never imagined she’d reach this milestone

The wind has been gusting Friday, March 5 in Williams Lake with the risk of a thunderstorm in the forecast for later in the afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
More than 500 customers in Cariboo without power, risk of thunderstorm Friday afternoon

The BC Hydro map is adding more power outages as the afternoon unfolds

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read