IODE Victoria Municipal Chapter Scholarship

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE), a volunteer, self-supporting organization, is open to all Canadian women with a love of country and a concern for others.  It is a national organization with chapters throughout Canada and it offers an opportunity to participate in the areas of citizenship, education and services.  IODE offers a sense of purpose, community involvement, personal growth, and a social life of friendship and fun.

IODE was founded by Mrs. Clark Murray of Montreal, who saw a need for support of Canadians departing to fight with the Empire forces in South Africa. The first chapter met in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and the Federation of IODE became official on February 13, 1900, after its charter had passed through the Canadian parliament.  A constitution was adopted, and a badge was designed, which is still worn today with only slight alterations.

The third provincial chapter in Canada was established in British Columbia. Primary and junior chapters formed throughout the province, the number growing to more than ten in Victoria.  The Victoria Municipal Chapter, a combination of all local Victoria chapters, was formed in the late 1930s. The IODE has a connection to royalty.  The Queen of England and the B.C. Lieutenant Governor's wife are patrons.

IODE has more than 10,000 members across Canada, and raises more than $1.5 million yearly to meet the changing needs of society.  People assisted include: pre-schoolers; students (through awards, fellowships, bursaries and scholarships); families in crisis; new Canadians; and senior citizens. Organizations that receive assistance include: hospitals; libraries; and arts groups.  Members receive monthly provincial newsletters, as well as a quarterly national magazine called Echoes.

The national group has an impressive list of accomplishments.  In 1967, Canada's centenary year, more than $52,000 was raised by members across Canada.  A sum of $1,000 was given to each of the three chapters in the Yukon and the remainder was divided equally among the ten provinces to be used for educational purposes.

In B.C., IODE has been very active in preserving the culture by promoting good citizenship and giving awards to police and firefighters in recognition of valued service to the community.  IODE provides food, clothing, medical and recreational equipment both in B.C. and abroad, as assists needy people times of emergency.  Schools in remote areas are supported, sometimes by "adoption", and special projects are supported.  Specific projects undertaken by IODE in B.C. include: establishment and continuing support of the IODE Glaucoma Centre in Vancouver; provision of funding for research and treatment of kidney disease affecting children; establishment of a Memorial Fund for use at the Vancouver and Victoria Cancer Clinics; contribution of more than $15,000 each year for research or equipment for the Eye Care Centre; awarding of numerous scholarships yearly at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria, as well as the Vancouver and Victoria Schools of Music; and helping budding musicians through the Victoria Music Festival.

The Municipal Chapter in Victoria, before it disbanded in 1984, undertook many activities.  For years the group held the Cross of Sacrifice in memory of the wars outside Christ Church Cathedral; the Parade of Flags was done in honour of the founding of IODE; the lectern at the Veteran's Hospital was donated; rooms at hospitals or schools were furnished or given pictures or plaques; and a "Salute to Queen Victoria Day" at the Parliament Buildings was organized by them, and included may pole dancing to celebrate spring, with attendance by school bands and a choir.

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