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Quilt of Valour a warm hug for Picton veteran

George Swoffer admires the Quilt of Valour

Story and photos by Olivia Timm
Second World War veteran George Swoffer, of Picton, received a warm ‘hug from the nation’ on a snowy Friday afternoon as sisters Sue Jensen and Sharon Abrames made a surprise visit to present a ‘Quilt of Valour’.

At 97, Swoffer is one of a handful of veterans left from the Hastings and Prince Edward regiment, but everyone in the room was dazzled by his memories – and his humour – as he shared a few stories from time spent serving his country in Sicily.

“I went over young and innocent, and I came back innocent,” he said, bringing laughter from his guests.

Sharon Abrames and Sue Jensen with George Swoffer.

The visit came out of a discussion between Larry Shoebridge, member of Hastings and Prince Edward County Regimental Association, and Jensen, who both attended the funeral of a Hasty P veteran this summer. Jensen asked Shoebridge if knew her father Sgt. Bill Morris, who also fought in the Second World War.

Shoebridge didn’t know him, but thought that if anyone did, it would be his good friend George Swoffer.

“He’s just like having an encyclopedia,” he chuckled.

Swoffer regaled Shoebridge with stories about Morris. Upon learning about Swoffer’s connection with her dad, Jensen shared photographs with him then contacted Shoebridge about honouring Swoffer with a Quilt of Valour.

Jensen and Abrames both said they didn’t know a lot about what really happened because their father hardly spoke about the war.

Swoffer recalled a time that Morris was injured due to a wound to the head, and said he saved his life that day.

As he listened to the many stories shared during the visit, Shoebridge said he couldn’t have thought of anyone more deserving of the quilt than Swoffer.

“Well, Bill, you never thought you’d warm me up,” Swoffer laughed as Jensen unfolded the quilt and gently placed it over Swoffer and explained what it symbolizes.

“We make and donate quilts to wounded current military members and veterans of all of the wars, so I made this quilt and I wanted it to go to somebody that was with the Hasty P’s … We wanted you to have this quilt,” she said.

Jensen volunteers for the Quilts of Valour organization in Ottawa, which provides donated quilts to injured or traumatized Canadian Forces members, recent veterans and to veterans of the Second World War, Korea, Bosnia, Rwanda and the Gulf War.
Quilts of Valour relies on a team of volunteers from across the nation to fulfill its mission.

Swoffer lives in Picton with his daughter Sandra, who smiled when she saw the hand-crafted quilt draped over her father.

The Quilts of Valour are called “hugs from across the nation,” and for George Swoffer, it was a warm reminder that others continue to honour the sacrifices of soldiers.

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  1. Ann corkedy says:

    Congratulations sir. Thank you for your service. God bless

  2. Doreen Hicks says:

    Well deserved and thank you Sir for your service.

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