Warrant Officer Daniel Larente was also given a quilt created by QOVC on Aug. 26. He received it in front of members of his family members and Chain of Command. From left are Corporal Michel Larente, Henry Larente, Rejeanne Larente, WO Larente, Zachary Larente, Stephanie Larente, Tyler Larente and Zachary Larente. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Quilts of Valour - Canada (QOVC) presented three veterans with a quilt of their own on Aug. 25. Master Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Dean Hiscock, Corporal (Ret’d) Steve Clark and Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Jack Van Gemeren wrap themselves in their quilts in front of the Petawawa Cenotaph. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
‘Quilts of Valour’ offer comfort to injured CAF members, veterans
By Patricia Lebeouf
Posted on Thursday September 3, 2020
Quilts of Valour - Canada (QOVC) has made it a goal to comfort as many injured Canadian Armed Forces members as possible by giving them handmade quilts.
A presentation of three of these quilts was made in front of the Petawawa Cenotaph on August 25 to three former military members, Corporal (Ret’d) Steve Clark, Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Jack Van Gemeren and Master Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Dean Hiscock.
Their combined service includes deployments to Germany, Lebanon, Golan Heights, Bosnia, Germany, Croatia, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Gulf War.
They were all accompanied by loved ones when they received their quilts.
“To me, it is an honour to be presenting these quilts,” said QOVC representative Amy Taylor.
Each quilt represents a fabric hug, wrapping the veteran and bringing them solace. By creating these masterpieces, these quilters are telling CAF members that they are appreciated and supported. They are uniquely designed with each recipient in mind, crafted lovingly by a small team of quilters. Their names are affixed on a label on the back of the quilt.
“There are complete strangers out there that really, really care about the military,” said Taylor
It is a labour intensive task to create a quilt, and teams worked on each to ensure it was perfect for the recipient. Dana Draper-Myra created Clark’s quilt; Hiscock received one made by Sue McNamara and the Pembroke Log Cabin Quilters. Van Gemeren’s own was created by Jean Ostrom and the Pembroke Log Cabin Quilters. Mark and Wendy Lou Robinson Henderson quilted all three.
On the following day, August 26, Warrant Officer (WO) Daniel Larente also found himself wrapped in a beautiful, colourful quilt, presented to him in front of his family and members of his Chain of Command.
“It is something I’ve never received before,” said WO Larente.
His mother, Rejeanne Larente had nominated her son to receive a quilt. She wanted him to know how loved he is and to be recognized for everything he has done and sacrificed over the past 14.5 years in the military.
“It’s not a medal, but it is a medal of honour in a way because not everybody gets it,” said his father, Henry Larente. “If you get it, it’s an honour to receive.”
Larente’s quilt was created by Sandy Green, who is with the Ottawa QOVC Chapter.
Though each quilt takes countless hours to assemble and hand sew, Taylor was adamant that they be used and enjoyed.
“One of the quilters made sure to tell me to make sure that they don’t hang it on their wall, that it doesn’t sit on the back of their couch, that it is getting love because that’s what people made it for,” said Taylor.
Quilts of Valour - Canada was founded in 2006 by Lezley Zwaal in Edmonton and is currently directed by Mary Ewing out of Ottawa. Since then, it has grown exponentially with a goal to donate 20,000 by the end of 2020, which is currently almost complete. About 75 per cent of the quilts have now been presented to veterans.
To learn more about Quilts of Valour - Canada or to nominate a recipient, please visit www.quiltsofvalour.ca.