Joseph Novak is a World War ll veteran and possibly the last in the Yukon who served overseas. Joe moved into Whistle Bend Place early this year and has delighted co-residents and staff with his passionate storytelling, unshakable love of music and gratitude for life. In October of last year, Joe was given a 7×7-foot Quilt of Valour in acknowledgment and appreciation for his service. The quilt is immaculately stitched together with patches of detailed poppy flowers and leaves. It was made by quilter extraordinaire Lee Hugh. Joe has been striving to have this piece displayed in a public location since he first received it.
“I want as many people to see it as possible,” he said. “I want them to remember those who fought in the war, those who never came home.”

Quilt of Valour hanging in Whistle Bend Place

Joe’s dream was to have the quilt displayed in the Whitehorse General Hospital or a government building, but soon after he moved into Whistle Bend Place, the idea of putting it up there became more and more attractive. Once the ball started rolling, it never stopped. Cynthia Onions, supervisor of recreation and psychosocial services, walked with Joe around the building to scope out where the quilt could go. They found the perfect spot. Soon after, lift equipment was rented to reach the high and mighty chosen location. On April 7, 2021, Todd, facility maintenance, secured himself to the scissor lift and blasted off to install the quilt while Joe kept a proud watch.
“It’s perfect,” he said. “You did a terrific job and I couldn’t be happier.”
Thank you Joe, for sharing this very special gift with everyone who lives, works and visits Whistle Bend Place. We hope everyone will look at it and be reminded of their freedom, due to the sacrifices made by those who served in war.