Quilts stitched together with love
The annual awards honour people who make a positive contribution in the region they live in.
Bowden, 65, said: ‘‘There are people who do a lot more than me but I loved making them [the quilts].’’
As part of the awards, winners were presented with specially made medals to officially recognise their achievements at a glitzy ceremony held at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim.
Bowden, who took up quilting in her 50s, said she created a quilt in honour of her mother’s Irish heritage.
‘‘All my aunties are good with their hands and do needlecraft, and quilting was something I thought I’d just try.
‘‘Mum had it on her bed and everyone loved it. I saw how homely it looked and thought I’d make one for everyone.
‘‘It was selfish really as I wanted to try out different patterns,’’ she said.
The residents were delighted with their cosy additions and Bowden said it gave her ‘‘great pleasure’’ to see them proudly displayed. ‘‘I get the warm fuzzies. I like that they have something to snuggle into and during their last days when families are gathered around their bed for the last time, I like to think it might make a small difference,’’ she said.
Ward councillor Mark Peters attended the ceremony to hand out the medals and congratulate the winners. ‘‘Our region’s 11 local heroes demonstrate the acts of charity, commitment and selflessness which is what holds a community together.
‘‘Many of these individuals are inspiring members of our community who have all uniquely touched the lives of others ... to acknowledge these people and their efforts in making Marlborough a better place to live,’’ he said.
Maria Bowden, left, was awarded a Kiwibank 2019 Local Hero of the Year. She made a quilt for her mother, Miriam Sullivan, right, and then 31 more for the other residents of Seaview Rest Home.