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Display of signature quilt brings unity and pride to Freetown

Janelle Mann and her father, Sidney Drummond, hold the corner of an historical quilt that has their ancestors’ names embroidered on the patches. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER
Janelle Mann and her father, Sidney Drummond, hold the corner of an historical quilt that has their ancestors’ names embroidered on the patches. DESIREE ANSTEY/JOURNAL PIONEER

A group gathered to examine a special signature quilt draped over a table in Freetown United Church one recent Sunday afternoon.

“There’s my grandmother,” said Janelle Mann, as she gently reached for the cotton corner. “Doris Simmons,” she added, while her fingers glided over the faded red embroidered signature.

“She married Tommy Drummond, and she was a home-keeper and he was a farmer,” said Mann. “And I didn’t move away from the community when I got married, so I live in my grandparents actual home. And I’m very community minded.”

The Willing Workers Mission Band of the Freetown United Church created the signature quilt in 1928. People paid 10 cents to have their names embroidered on the quilt, all in support of missions abroad.

Mann told the Journal Pioneer she was unaware of the historical quilt that has 200 embroidered signatures.

“I didn’t know that this quilt existed until I was at a meeting and it was brought to my attention,” she said. “So this is a great opportunity to have the community come together and see what our ancestors did.”

Many descendants of the people whose names are embroidered on the quilt came to the event that was held by Katherine Dewar.

The signature quilt has been kept safe in the Dewar family for 85 years, but Dewar announced her plans to donate the historical artifact to a museum.

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