A common thread for thirty years

You may not have met Rosemary Stewart, but if you’ve pinched the cheeks of a baby born at McMaster University Medical Centre, you might have seen her handiwork. She knitted nearly 900 baby sweaters as a volunteer at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).

Stewart donated more than 27,000 hours of her time, friendship and talent to HHS as both a knitter and mentor to other volunteer knitters. Her encouragement and leadership resulted in innumerable hand-made baby sets, blankets, hats and slippers, both donated to babies and sold at Give Shops across HHS to benefit patient programs.

“She was so committed and dedicated to the success of the knitting program.”

She learned to knit in Sheffield, England at only five years old, and took her craft very seriously. As convenor, Rosemary handled all aspects of the knitting program—she ran it like a business! On average, Give Shop sales of her team’s wares totalled $5000.00 per year, the profits of which were donated to enhance patient care.

“I just can’t imagine anyone else doing the job because she was so committed and dedicated to the success of the knitting program,” says Lorraine McGrattan, manager of Volunteer Resources. “Sadly, we are now faced with that challenge.”

Rosemary passed away on January 23, 2017.

“We are so appreciative of the magnitude, skill and dedication Rosemary provided our to our Give Shops over the past 30 years as coordinator of the knitting program,” says Anne Collins, director of retail operations for the HHS Volunteer Association. “She will be truly be missed.”

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