By Craig Westcott
Military veteran and community organizer Wayne Miller has touched many lives and served as the sparkplug behind countless efforts over the years to recognize the contributions of veterans and their families from CBS to B.C. always eschewing any kind of recognition for himself. Last Tuesday, however, even Miller couldn’t dodge the accolades as a representative of the Quilts of Valour organization presented him with a special gift during a ceremony before the start of the public council meeting.
The presentation was made by Simon MacInnis, the Regional Representative of Quilts of Valour, a national charity that thanks veterans for their sacrifices and work by presenting them with handcrafted quilts made by volunteers across the country.
“Every time I present a quilt, I’m just overcome by emotion because there is just so much heart-felt gratitude behind these quilts to say ‘Thank you’ to people like Wayne and so many other deserving veterans around our country,” said MacInnes.
Miller’s quilt was made by a Newfoundland artisan, Chantal Follett of Grand Bank, and came with the message, “To Wayne Miller, handmade with love, respect and gratitude for your sacrifice to Canada. May the hugs stitched in this quilt give you comfort, strength and love. “
The quilts are made all over Canada and it just happened that Miller’s was made here, MacInnes, noted, making it even more special.
“It’s tremendous, thank you very much,” Miller said, after MacInnes wrapped him in the quilt as part of the ceremony the charity has been conducting across Canada. “I’ve done a lot of things in my career and met a lot of people, but nobody has ever wrapped me up in a blanker before, so it’s humbling and it’s an honour to say thank you very much for presenting this to me, and to the lady who made it and to the project. It’s outstanding. Thank you very, very much.”
MacInnes said whenever he hears the name Wayne Miller, he thinks of the new War Memorial in CBS located in front of the Town Hall and the dedication Miller showed over eight years in bringing the dream to fruition.
In addition to his past 30 years of military service, plus an additional 13 years working with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Miller has taken on many volunteer and ceremonial positions on behalf of veterans and the Canadian Armed Forces. One key project Miller undertook before the War Memorial was erected, along with fellow CBS citizens Mel Strong and Jack Morgan and others, was the identification of graves belonging to veterans in the various cemeteries in town followed up by the placement of small flags to honour them.
More recently Miller has served as the Honourary Colonel of the 37 Signals Regiment, while continuing to play a quiet, but effective part in many other projects, including the placement of the LAV III Memorial next to the cenotaph to honour veterans of the Afghanistan War. In 2018, he was invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Miller has helped literally thousands of veterans and Canadian Forces members over the years, but as anyone who knows him can attest, always shrugs off any recognition for his efforts preferring to pass the credit on to others.
“That was a very special presentation held here in the chamber earlier today and we’re very pleased to be able to accommodate the Quilts of Valour in their presentation to Wayne Miller,” said CBS Mayor Darrin Bent.