Quilts of Valour

Quilts of Valour recipients with Barbara Kenny and Janice Heit (left) and Bill Kenny (right).

Veterans received hand made quilts at an emotional gathering at Beaudesert Golf Club.

Barbara and Bill Kenny of Quilts of Valour presented seven veterans with quilts in recognition of their service.

A gift of love

Barbara and Bill Kenny have been coordinating the gifts of quilts to Australian Service personnel, veterans and their families since 2014.

Barbara’s friend Helen Comport is the founder of Quilts of Valour Australia.

In 2010 Helen’s son was on an American Blackhawk helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan, killing three Australian commandos and an American soldier.

Helen’s son was one of the survivors and told his mother about the comfort a quilt he was gifted provided for him.

Helen was inspired by this and in 2012 Quilts of Valour Australia was formed.

As Queensland Coordinators of Quilts of Valour Australia, the couple have travelled around Queensland to gift home made quilts.

“We have awarded quilts to veterans and families of veterans,” said Barbara.

“They are very personal, including one lady who wanted a quilt made from her son’s uniform to honour him.”

“Often they are personalised for the person and help with the healing process.”

Janice Heit, whose husband was a Vietnam Veteran, was the first person in Queensland to receive a quilt.

All quilts are hand made and donated.

“The quilt is a gift of love,” said Barbara.

The seven veterans who were awarded quilts at the ceremony held at Beaudesert Golf Club last month were very emotional.

Barbara read out a letter which accompanied each quilt, thanking the recipient for their service and sacrifice for their country.

Ian Johnson served in the Australian Army in a peacekeeping role in the Middle East during the Lebanon war.

He said he had no idea that the Quilts of Valour existed before being asked to the ceremony.

“I’ve been blown away by the story, the genesis of this.”

“Whilst it originated in the US, it is a concept that translates easily into Australian armed forces.”

“The stories that were conveyed by Bill and Barbara were very touching and you can understand how people have become emotional.”

“It is a privilege to receive it.”

Quilts of Valour Australia is a charity that has awarded over 100 quilts across Australia to date.

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Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.