Patients at Whangarei's Jim Carney Cancer Centre can have treatment in more comfort after 20 colourful quilts were donated by members of the Wellsford Marsden Masonic Lodge.

Last week the lodge members took the quilts to the centre at Whangarei Hospital, where they were gratefully received.

Patient Janet Johnston was one of the first to wrap herself up in one.

Lodge master Lindsay Stichbury said the idea for the quilts came about a year ago.


"A friend of my wife Christine, JanMarie Olsen, accompanied another friend to the unit for treatment sessions, and came back feeling the unit needed a bit of colour," Mr Stichbury said.

"She asked Christine if she would join her making some comfort quilts for the unit. When my wife mentioned this to me, I, as the master of the Wellsford Marsden Masonic Lodge, asked the members of the lodge if they would support them financially.

"Not only did we agree to support them but also contacted the Freemasons NZ Charity for further support."

The two women, over the period of a year, made the 20 quilts and with the offer from Jenny Bailey of Quietly Quilting in Kaiwaka to donate the quilt stitching for free, they were able to complete them in time for the onset of winter.

The Luxin RAOB (Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes) lodge of Maungaturoto also provided financial help.

The quilts have been welcomed at the $5 million unit, built after Northlanders raised $3 million and the Northland District Health Board provided the rest.

"The quilts have brought beautiful colour to the centre and with the weather cooling down, they couldn't have come at a better time," said Dee Telfer, clinical nurse manager at the treatment centre.

"The ladies who helped make the quilts had come through on the open day and noticed that while we had red treatment chairs the place needed brightening up, and they have certainly achieved that.

"We are extremely grateful for their kindness."