Fairmont Hot Spring’s Hoodoo Quilters create handmade quilt to honour veteran’s  30 years of service and five tours of duty in Afghanistan

By Steve Hubrecht
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Earlier this month, local veteran Mark Topliff was presented with a quilt by the nonprofit group Quilts of Valour Canada. The quilt was made especially for the occasion by the Fairmont Hot Springs-based Hoodoos Quilters.

The presentation was made at the Invermere cenotaph, in front of the plaque honouring veterans who served in Afghanistan. Topliff served in Afghanistan five separate times during the three decades he was in the Canadian Navy.

Quilts of Valour’s East and West Kootenay volunteer representative Cindy Postnikoff (who is from Kimberley) came to Invermere to formally present the handmade quilt to Topliff. The nonprofit group has representatives all across Canada, and presents quilts to veterans as a means to honour their service and sacrifices.

“It was an honour and a privilege to present a Quilt of Valour to retired Commander Mark Topliff in Invermere,” said Postnikoff. “Topliff served with the Canadian Navy for 30 years and continues to serve his community today. He was nominated for this quilt for his outstanding service and sacrifice. This beautiful quilt was made by the Hoodoo Quilters from Fairmont Hot Springs, and we “Thank you ladies.”

“It’s a huge honour for me,” Topliff told the Pioneer. “A truly huge honour.”

Topliff served in the Navy for 30 years, eventually retiring as a Naval Commander. He was nominated for the quilt by the local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 Windermere District.

Topliff extends thanks to the nonprofit group, telling the Pioneer that they are “amazing people” and their work is truly appreciated.

“We at Quilts of Valour are committed to remembering those who have served,” said Postnikoff.

She explained that the reactions (of veterans) who receive quilts varied: sometimes there are tears, sometimes there are smiles, but invariably the veterans are always grateful.”

Postnikoff decided to get involved with the Quilts of Valour after her son, who is a veteran, was presented with a quilt by the group. “It was a big deal for him…he carries it (the quilt) in his truck. He knows there’s a hug in there whenever he needs it,” said Postnikoff.

If you are a veteran or know of a veteran and would like to nominate them for a quilt, please call Postnikoff at 250-919-3137.

More information on Quilts of Valour Canada can be found at www.quiltsofvalour.ca.