Merritt stories sewn together for Remembrance Day

By on November 8, 2017
A quilt honouring veterans from the Nicola Valley was donated to the Legion this year. (Photo contributed).

 

“They kept the war from our door.”

For years, Donna Jordan would read through the annual Remembrance Day section in her copy of the Merritt Herald, looking back at the names and faces of the men who served from the Nicola Valley.

And every year, when it came time to throw the paper away, a pang of guilt would wash over her — something about the act of throwing away these pictures didn’t sit right with the quilter and longtime Merritt resident.

Perhaps it had to do with the fact that her grandfather was a veteran himself — having fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge. Or maybe it was due to the fact that so many of Jordan’s friends in Merritt had grown up with parents or relatives who served — some of whom never returned home.

So this October, Jordan resolved to do something different with her copy of last year’s Remembrance Day supplement — printing the pages on cotton and sewing them into a quilt which pays respects to the deep tradition of military service in the Nicola Valley.

Representing ten days of work, the quilt features familiar faces — Ken Moyes appears in the upper left corner — as well as the story of a lesser known Nicola Valley veteran, Pte. Thomas Charters, whose name does not appear on the Merritt cenotaph.

“I put him front and centre — he’s still over there in Europe somewhere — but if his family ever goes in to [the Legion], they can see how important someone thought that he was,” said Jordan.

The quilt incorporates muted colours; olive and brown for the army vets, with a splash of blue in the corner to represent those who served in the navy, or the air force.

The quilt is now on display at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96, as Jordan donated it to the branch as a tribute to local veterans.

“They kept the war from our door, it’s because of them that we have a free country today,” said Jordan.

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