Quilts for veterans to recognise valour
Local veterans were recipients of handmade quilts during a special presentation at Drouin RSL.
The Quilts of Valour presentation was made to thank the three men for their service, sacrifice and valour in serving Australia.
James Burke who served in Afghanistan received a double-sided quilt made by Harkaway Quilt-In and Vic Donohoe who served in Korea received a quilt from the Waverley Patchworkers and Quilters.
Graham Sparks, who was unable to attend the presentation, was gifted a quilt made by the Waverley Patchworkers.
In making the presentation, Margie Tily said Quilts of Valour was a not-for-profit organisation awarding quilts to currently serving Australian forces personnel, veterans and their immediate families touched by war.
“I was honoured to present quilts to three veterans from the Drouin RSL,” said Mrs Tily.
Quilts of Valour was created by Helen Comport of Harkaway following her son Mathew being seriously injured in a black hawk helicopter accident whilst serving Australia in 2010.
Whilst in hospital, Mathew was gifted a Quilt of Valour from the USA and, touched by the gesture, commented that Australia should have a similar scheme.
Mrs Tily already knew Helen and, after reading about her Quilts of Valour work, decided to join the cause.
She noted Helen’s dream was to wrap all veterans in our love for their sacrifice, as no-one goes to war and escapes all the horror.
“Today, I see Helen almost every week. I haven’t made a quilt, but I help by sewing on the labels, presenting talks to groups, and, of course, in presenting quilts.”
Mrs Tily said Quilts of Valour were originally presented to all wounded soldiers but had since expanded to veterans from all wars.
“I have presented several to Vietnam Veterans who were treated very badly on their return and they are very emotional to be finally thanked for their service in this way,” she said.
The three veterans from Drouin RSL were selected for quilts by president Rod McNab.
“They were extremely grateful to receive the quilts. They also receive a certificate and a beautiful letter thanking them for their service.
“This was the first presentation that I have made to members from Drouin, but there may have been others before my involvement,” she added.
Although unable to attend the Quilts of Valour presentation, veteran Graham Sparks receives his quilt from Drouin RSL’s Mick Irwin (left) and president Rod McNab (right).
Vietnam Veteran Vic Donohoe looks thrilled with his Quilt of Valour, certificate and letter recognising his war service. The organisation dreams to wrap all veterans in love for their sacrifice.