2006 QUILT FOR SILVER CROSS MOTHER, ALICE MURPHY
IN HONOUR OF FALLEN SOLDIER, JAMIE MURPHY
LETTER FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
November 14, 2006
Dear Mrs. Guthrie and the other wonderful ladies who participated in the creation of the special quilt for the Silver Cross Mother, Mrs. Alice Murphy,
My name is Marc Gobei land I work at the Governor General's office. For several weeks, I had been in touch with Capt. Geri Bush at the military's Comfort and Remembrance Program to find a way for your special quilt to be presented to Mrs. Murphy. It could not be presented during the remembrance ceremony itself because that event is tightly scripted, but the Governor General and Gen. Rick Hillier took a moment after the remembrance ceremonies and just before lunch in Mrs. Murphy's honour to show her the quilt. Mrs. Murphy and her daughters were very touched by the gift and the obvious thought, concern and effort that went into putting it all together. They asked that we share it with as many people as possible and so during the lunch we took a few minutes to describe Mrs. Guthrie's idea and what had happened in Marmora.
We first showed the side with the maple leaf pattern. and already people were moved by some of the messages that were read aloud. I cannot describe to you the sound that was heard when we turned the quilt around to show the personal blocks in honour of Jamie Murphy. There was a loud, heavy gasp that expressed admiration of the quilt's symbolism and also extended compassion to Mrs. Murphy and her family. It was very,very moving to realize that the quilt had an effect on who was there. That sound confirmed the importance of what you have all done in your expression of comfort, support and appreciation.
The quilt was displayed alter lunch and all 100 guests came closer to get a better look and appreciate the fine work. I heard many, many very positive comments about it. It is unfortunate that none of the creators were there to take part in the presentation but the next best thing are photos. Attached are two photos taken during the presentation of the quilt to Mrs. Murphy by the Governor General and her husband. It would be appreciated if all the people who were involved in the project could receive the photos to let them know that their work found its way to its rightful place.
On behalf of all of us at the Governor General's office, thank you for what you have done in the name of all Canadians.
Marc Gobeil, Policy and Planning Officer Government House 1 Sussex Drive Ottawa Ontario, K1A OA1
REPLY TO THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Dear Mr. Marc Gobeil,
On behalf of the Quilter's of Marmora and Lake I wish to thank you for the wonderful email that was passed on to me last evening.
Many of the women who quilt in Marmora do not have computers. I will download and transfer your email and photo's to hard copy. On Thursday or Friday I will drive to Marmora (my home away from home) and distribute your message and photographs to each of them.
Your message will delight everyone. The whole focus when making this quilt was to give Mrs. Murphy a gift that would be of comfort to her and bring her warm memories of her son. The expressions on her face, caught by your photographer, capture a mother who was both touched and pleased by our offering.
To have two pictures of Mrs. Murphy, the Governor General, her husband, and the quilt is beyond both our wildest dreams and expectations.
It was decided last summer while working on the quilt that as a group we would attend Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Marmora and lay a wreath to honour Corporal Murphy. Master Corporal Jeff Isaac, (2 CER) of CFB Petawawa, a friend of Corporal Murphy's and one of the soldiers in the vehicle behind Corporal Murphy's when it was attacked, was with us last Saturday and escorted two of our quilter's in laying the wreath.
We all thought of Mrs. Murphy and her duties in Ottawa but our desire was to be in Marmora where the journey of this quilt began six months ago. Our hearts were with Corporal Murphy, his family, Master Corporal Isaac and all of the men and women of our armed forces.
We thank you so very much for your kind and prompt message.
Your message and the photographs accompanying it will be forever valued by all of us.
Dear Mrs. Murphy,
It has been an honour for the Quilters of Marmora and Lake to make this quilt for you. We hope it will offer you and your family comfort.
We would like this project to stand as testament to our gratitude for the sacrifice your son has made on our behalf and the behalf of all Canadians.
The Quilters of Marmora and Lake will remember Corporal Jamie Brendan Murphy.
This November 11th will begin our yearly recognition of your son's sacrifice. It is with sadness and pride that we will undertake this charge.
Marmora and Lake - After several months in the planning and construction phase, the 24-square remembrance quilt stitched with care by a group of Marmora women is nearing completion. It was mounted on a stretcher in the Historical Foundation, so local stitchers could drop in over the last several days and work on quilting the beautiful piece. With words of comfort and support lovingly penned on each heart contained within the maple leaves, the quilt wiII be presented to the Silver Cross Mother, Alice Murphy, mother of Corporal Jamie Brendan Murphy during the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. The quilt features a host of maple leaves on a cream background, with one of the squares having been personalized for the Silver Cross Mother. On the re- verse side are several quilted pictures created by Sandy Kirby, depicting the Province of Newfoundland which Jamie called home. Among them are a map of Newfoundland cut from the provincial tartan; a provincial flag; a scene of Conception Bay; and a patch depicting Jamie's three favourite sports: hockey, baseball and golf. Under the flag wilt be fabric renderings of the gazebo and cenotaph contained in Marmora's Memorial Park alongside the words, "A tribute to the Murphy family from Marmora." This quilt and many others like it will form the Comfort and Remembrance Project born when Brockville quilter Jennifer Hodge designed a maple heart quilt block. With the approval of General Rick Hillier of the Department of National Defence, the resulting 24- block quilts will be given to the seriously wounded soldiers or the families of the downed soldiers.
Arlene Aunger-Fluke wrote: "Marmora women are very thoughtful and talented A lot of work A marvelous keepsake for Alice Murphy in memory of her son Jamie."
The Military Panel The ribbons surrounding the background field indicate Corporal Murphy's service around the world. -The white, blue, white, blue, white - Kosovo -The green, red, white, blue, white red, green -The United Nations Peace Keeping -The burgundy, white, green, white, burgundy - Afghanistan
The flag of the Royal Canadian Regiment centers the panel.
It is surrounded by symbols of Corporal Murphy's military career.
The gold and black Mortar Badge indicates the platoon Corporal Murphy was part of.
The epaulettes are those worn by a Corporal. Their colour indicates the original uniform colour- O. D.- Olive Drab Green, worn before the CAD-PAT uniform. The colour of these epaulettes are an indicator of Corporal Murphy's length of service.
The Regimental Hat Badge is a symbol of the Royal Canadian Regiment. This is a symbol that Corporal Jamie Murphy wore proudly for his entire career.
The Comfort and Remembrance Quilt is completed and is in Ottawa where it will be presented to Silver Cross Mother Alice Murphy, by General Rick Hillier during a Remembrance Day reception at Rideau Hall, the Governor-General's residence. The women who worked on the quilt gathered to mark the occasion with a photo on a chilly November 5. From the left are: Theresa Davidson, Marjorie Bedore, Aline Smith, Joan Hutt, Jean Shannon, Bev Lane, Eleanor Wells, Arlene Cooksey, Mary-Jo Redmond, Sandy Kerby, Ruth Potts, Ann Brownson, Pat Lawrence, Margaret Blackwood, Florence Harding, Judy Backus and Vera McCoy. Fran Turner, Lois Fluke, Leisa Trumble and Cathie Jones were absent from the picture.