Quilters honour local veterans

Sam Odrowski

Local residents Wilna and Hubert Meyers have handcrafted quilts over the last few years that have been given to various veterans in the community to recognize their service.
The contributions are part of the “Quilts of Valour” program that is made up of volunteers who create quilts to recognize injured soldiers and veterans.
“We just want to honour them and say thank you for what you’ve done for our country,” Hubert said.
The Meyers use to live in Edmonton, where the “Quilts of Valour” program began and have been involved with it since it started in 2006.
Since coming to Rainy River District a few years ago, they have been able to craft and distribute 26 in the community.
The first set of 15 quilts they donated to local veterans were distributed in May, 2017 at the “Veterans’ Supper” at the Legion.
Then in August, the Meyers donated five more to veterans in Rainy River.
Back in May of this year, a local Afghanistan veteran who was wounded overseas received a quilt.
And on Oct. 27, the Meyers presented a “Quilt of Valour” to Second World War veteran Julian Habinski.
His family was there for the presentation and expressed great gratitude for having Habinski recognized for his efforts.
The quilts don’t follow a specific theme. Rather, the focus is to make them aesthetically pleasing and comfortable for the people who get them.
“Sometimes we put really bright colours in there because war times were sad times, dark times,” Hubert noted.
Wilna agreed, adding they try to make them uplifting.
“You want something that pops,” she reasoned.
Part of why the Meyers are involved in the program is to give back to those who served and sacrificed for their freedom.
“We are both from Holland and from a town called Arnhem that got liberated by the Canadians [in World War II],” Wilna noted.
“So for me, it is very important because it meant a lot to our parents and our grandparents, aunts, and uncles.”
The Meyers’ goal is to get quilts to those who served in the area before they pass away.
Looking ahead, they plan to continue crafting quilts and searching for more veterans in the district to distribute them to.
If anybody knows of any veterans interested in receiving a quilt, contact the Meyers at 270-2653.