Gander’s Women's Institute turning blocks into blankets

Published on March 9, 2017

Members of the Women’s Institute Gander Branch, from the left, Vickie Lear, Marie Myrick, Marion Stratton and Wilma Pond, president, hold up completed afghan quilts, with blocks created by cancer patients.

©Contributed photo

GANDER — The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation is singing the praises of the Women’s Institute Gander Branch.

Some time back, the Institute’s members began organizing a knitting program at the Cancer Centre in Gander.

The group supplies wool and knitting needles to patients receiving chemotherapy treatments. The patients, and sometimes family members, in turn knit blocks.

A few of the afghan blankets that were made from squares knitted by cancer patients in Gander and crocheted together by members of the Women’s Institute.
Contributed photo

The Women's Institute then collects the blocks and the members join them together as afghan quilts and donate them to the patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the centre.

Women’s Institute member Mabel Miller couldn’t provide an exact timeline as to when the knitting program started, but she knows it’s been ongoing for a while and numerous blankets have been completed. 

“It’s kind of a full circle type thing,” Miller said. “We’ve been doing that for some time and it’s quite rewarding.”

Jennifer Yetman, development officer with the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation said, “It’s such a heartfelt gesture that they are doing. It’s something they’ve taken upon themselves to do for their community, it’s a lovely story, and it certainly provides comfort to a lot of patients.”

About the Women’s Institute Gander Branch

The Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes, women, families and communities. Its goal is to empower women to make a difference.

Having recently marked its 65th year, the Gander Branch has been involved in a number of local initiatives providing donations to local organizations over the years. 

Projects have included making turbans for cancer patients, quilts for persons with dementia, children’s quilts for Cara House, kitted squares made into afghans for the cancer clinic, and have taken on Swedish weaving and working with youth.