Letter: IODE contributions

IODE, formerly known as Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire, is a Canadian charitable organization.

IODE, formerly known as Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire, is a Canadian charitable organization founded in February 1900.

They are very proud of their part in  helping  financially, to build  the Cenotaph in Vancouver. IODE has supported our Canadian service men, women, their families and our veterans for over 116 years.

The major reason IODE was founded was to support our Canadian troops in the Boer War.

Our members raised funds to honour the 90 Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in South Africa. A monument was unveiled in Bloemfontein, South Africa, by the Earl of Athlone (later Governor General of Canada) and  IODE funds have helped maintain the graves  in  the intervening years.

In the First and Second World War, $12 million was raised by IODE members to purchase hospitals, hospital ships, ambulances, bomber and fighter aircraft and field comforts for Canadian service personnel. Relief  to prisoners of war and refugee camps, libraries and  canteens for servicemen and thousands of volunteer hours were among the many contributions in both wars.

Amazingly during the Second World War, in only one week the ladies of IODE raised over $1 million to purchase a Bolingbroke bomber which was presented to the Canadian government.

Over $1 million was raised during the period of 1946 to 1950. Massive quantities of clothes, medical supplies and food were sent for relief of displaced persons. The money was raised across Canada by exhibiting a needlepoint carpet made by Queen Mary and was used to provide much needed dollars for Britain following the Second World War. The carpet was presented to the people of Canada in 1951 by Princess Elizabeth and is housed in the National Gallery of Canada.

A unique wartime gift was the shipment of  87 bridal gowns which were worn by hundreds of British service women.

In 1939, IODE was the first Canadian organization to send  civilian relief to Britain and  continued with the adoption of two children’s  hospitals there.

IODE Canada presents  four war memorial awards of $15,000 each, two of which came to B.C. Two war memorial funds were established for children of those killed or permanently disabled veterans and  to establish a permanent  memorial of postgraduate scholarships.

Chapters have subscribed over $1 million to these  scholarships. Following the Second World War, terms were broadened and as of 1995, $3.7 million have been awarded from the war memorial funds.

Bette Snowdon,

IODE Diamond Jubilee Citizenship Officer, Penticton