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

For the love of treasures, carving an upcycling niche in Williams Lake

Couple return to Williams Lake, start new career

Bridging the gap: Williams Lake leaders engage with First Nations community for better understanding

City councillors and staff responsed to an invitation from Esk’etemc

Longhouse proposed for possible COVID-19 housing in Williams Lake

‘We are probaby looking at a second wave, we can’t stick our heads in the sand,’ said Rosanna McGregor

South Lakeside residents to be reimbursed for 2020 parcel tax payments

Council determined residents fulfilled the commitment of 20 payments for water, sewer hook up

Quesnel rescue group offers feral felines a second chance

Dunphy’s latest cat capers have taken her to the Quesnel landfill

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

Six-vehicle collision involving two semi-trucks leaves several injured near Sicamous

Investigators believe a semi-truck crossed a double solid line along Trans-Canada Highway

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

Twitter racing to unravel mystery cyberattack

Some of the world’s most prominent names had their Twitter accounts post invitations for an apparent Bitcoin scam

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Northern Indigenous cannabis cultivation facility to supply over 60 private B.C. stores

Construction to soon resume on Nations Cannabis in Burns Lake

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Most Read