A Stitch in Time – a timeless story of Remembrance

Sometimes there are stories that have no explanation other than, they happen for a reason.

On November 6th, at the Saugeen Shores Men’s Probus Club, member David Gray told the story of the hometown quilt.

                               David Gray tells the story of the quilt that came home

                                                      Hundreds of hand-stitched names

In Galt (ON) when David was a young boy of 10, he belonged to what was then the ‘Karry on Kids Klub’ that consisted of 22 children ages four to ten who raised money for the Wartime effort with a garden party.

A quilt was made and people who wanted their name on the quilt would pay ten cents. It raised $86.  When the quilt was completed, it was given to the Red Cross to be taken to a Veterans’ hospital in London, England.  The understanding was that if there were any soldiers there who came from the Cambridge area in Ontario, the quilt would be put on their bed so that they could see the names and perhaps of some they knew.

After the war was over, the quilt came back to Toronto with the Red Cross and no one knows where it went or the lives it saw.

One day however, a lady in Mississauga was looking for a bed for her dog and spotted the quilt at a garage sale, paid two dollars for it and took it home.  When she looked at more closely however, she found the names of relatives.

There were four families connected through Cambridge.  One was in Mississauga, one in Waterdown, one in Guelph and the other in Cambridge.  The relative in Waterdown felt that that the quilt should go back to its original owner.

Through someone in Guelph, then Kitchener and then Galt, it began to make its way back ‘home’.

David Gray’s twin brother in Galt (Cambridge) one day received a phone call saying that someone had a parcel for him. The parcel was the quilt.  After more than 50 years, the quilt came back to his brother.

For it was their sister who did the embroidery of the names.

It was a quilt that brought people together long after the war ended but it was the children in the beginning who wanted to honour the soldiers and help them financially.

“One can only wonder where the quilt has been, how many beds did it cover, who did it help and, even after what must have been countless washings, the names are still there and visible,” said David.