Quilts sym­bol­ise fam­ily links

Waikato News - - Front Page - Charles Rid­dle

A Queens­land woman has re­paid an 80-year-old fam­ily debt to a Raglan in­sti­tu­tion by trav­el­ling to the sea­side town to present 12 quilts she made in the com­pany of her su­per­vi­sor— a ginger cat.

Mar­ion Man­ning grew up in Te Awa­mutu and trained as amilliner at Betty White Millinery in the old Pol­lock and Milne Plaza (a spe­cial­ist fab­ric shop) in Hamil­ton in the late 1960s.

Now based in Bris­bane, Man­ning fol­lowed up on old fam­ily pho­to­graphs to track a fam­ily as­so­ci­a­tion with the DV Bryant Re­treat.

The re­treat is op­er­ated by the Hamil­ton­based Bryant Trust.

“My­mother’s sis­ter was a pa­tient at Bryant Home for Chil­dren in 1932. She was sent there to re­cu­per­ate and turned 92 this year.

“As well, my great aunt, Dorothy Smith, was a ma­tron of the home in 1931.”

Man­ager of the Re­treat Robyn Rid­dle said Man­ning knocked on the door some months ago and in­tro­duced her­self and her fam­ily’s con­nec­tion to the DV Bryant Trust’s char­i­ta­ble work in Raglan.

At amorn­ing tea held to cel­e­brate the gifts this week, Rid­dle noted quilts were sug­ges­tive of the warmth and dig­nity the Re­treat pro­vided to women.

“A quilt seems to be a sym­bol for the many things we value at the Re­treat— it is made up of many dif­fer­ent kinds and colours of fab­ric— a bit like the women who come here— each is dif­fer­ent but some­how they all fit to­gether and com­ple­ment one an­other.”

Man­ning has made hun­dreds of quilts down the years, most re­cently su­per­vised on a daily ba­sis by the neigh­bour’s ginger cat.

DV Bryant Re­treat man­ager Robyn Rid­dle (left) and quil­ter Mar­ion Man­ning with two of the new quilts pre­sented to the Raglan women’s re­treat.

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