The Founder of Empire Day, 1897, Mrs. Clementina Fessenden, worked closely with IODE in its infancy and the first Empire Day Programme was arranged by IODE in Fredericton, New Brunswick on May 23rd.
1900 – 1902
IODE 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 to maintain the graves in intervening years.
The National Chapter Head Office was established in Toronto and the first executive meeting held. Mrs. Edith Boulton Nordheimer is elected as the first National President.
The National Chapter erected the Alexandra Gates, an iron grilled gateway to Queen’s Park, Toronto, to commemorate the visit to Canada of the Duke and Duchess of York – later King George V and Queen Mary.
A four-page pamphlet was created as a channel of communication to chapters across Canada. Today, Echoes magazine is mailed to members three times a year.
An Education programme, Commonwealth Relations, is formed and IODE built and furnished a room in a domestic science school in Bombay, India. Annual Commonwealth Scholarships are available.
Hamilton Municipal Chapter is the first IODE chapter to provide beds in existing sanitoria in a campaign waged against tuberculosis.
The Kaiser-I=Hind Chapter, Poona, India was formed by Miss Susie Sorabji.
National Chapters were formed in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Newfoundland (which later disbanded).
Chapters begin to donate library buttons, flag folders and gifts to schools.
The IODE Preventorium in Toronto was the first institution of its kind in North America, established for the treatment of those children who had been exposed to, but not yet contracted tuberculosis.
The first Tag Day in Canada was IODE “Rose Day” for a child welfare project.
An Act of Parliament incorporated IODE.
1917 – 1918
The “Home for Mentally-Deficient Children” is established in Halifax following the disastrous explosion in 1917 and was the first institution of its kind in Canada.
1919 and 1946
To honour Canadians who gave their lives or suffered disabilities in the two World Wars, 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 $1,000,000 to these bursaries. Following the Second World War, terms were broadened and as of 1995, 3.7 million dollars have been awarded from the War Memorial Funds.
World War I and II
$12,000,000 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.
The National Society of the Daughters of the British Empire in the USA was granted affiliation with IODE in Canada.
Adopted Schools programme in rural communities, far north and the West Indies was created.
The first IODE calendar is sold with its proceeds used by the National Education department to finance special awards to students at Canada's National Ballet School and the National Theatre School of Canada and to purchase musical scores of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
The National Chapter Endowment Fund was inaugurated with an objective of $200,000, the principal to be held in trust and the income to be used to further the work of the Order.
The Vancouver Preventorium, a joint IODE-Rotary Club project, is opened.
The International Peace Garden located on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota is dedicated to peace and friendship between Canada and the United States of America, and is continuously supported by IODE.
The Wilhelmina Gordon Foundation Fund is established for postgraduate study in English at Queen’s University. Originally the prize was $25 and now $800 is distributed annually.
Alberta’s Coronation Bursaries are created.
IODE was the first Canadian organization to send civilian relief to Britain and continued with the adoption of two children’s hospitals there.
$100,000, raised in one month to purchase a Bolingbroke Bomber, is presented to the Government of Canada.
The Lucy Morrison Memorial Fund for Education is established in Ontario with over $500,000 donated. The Fund grants bursaries, fellowships and special awards.
A unique wartime gift was the shipment of 87 wedding outfits to Women’s Service Headquarters to be distributed on loan to British service women.
Saskatchewan IODE created The Avenue of Trees, each tree bearing a plaque in memory of Saskatchewan men who lost their lives during the war.
Post World War II and the Korean War
Over $1,000,000 was raised during the period of 1946 to 1950. Massive quantities of clothes, medical supplies and food were sent for relief of displaced persons. $100,000 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.
An ermine cloak was the gift of members throughout Canada to Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her marriage, November 20th.
The jeweled badge, given to Mrs. Clark Murray by the Primary Chapters in the Province of Quebec, was presented by Mrs. Murray’s two daughters, and since then, has been worn by each National President during her term of office.
$500,000 is raised to assist victims of the Manitoba flood with food, bedding and home furnishings.
1000 members who trained in civil defence brought immediate aid to victims of Hurricane Hazel in Ontario.
Community Halls in Frobisher Bay, Tuktoyaktuk and Baker Lake are built in celebration of IODE’s 60th anniversary.
To celebrate Canada’s Centennial Year, the IODE Centenary Fund was established and $52,333 was raised by 1967. $1000 was given to the three chapters in the Yukon and the reminder divided equally among the ten provinces to be used for special Education projects.
Nova Scotia members prepared hot meals and served thousands of rescue workers at the Springhill Minehead for 24-hour periods during the two-week emergency.
September 18 was IODE Day at Expo in Montreal.
Toronto Municipal Chapter used funds from the sale of the Children’s Convalescent Hospital (formerly the Preventorium) and raised $500,000 to build The IODE Children’s Centre at the new North York General Hospital.
By this time, all the separate service funds to which chapters have contributed are amalgamated as The National Services Fund (Child and Family Welfare, Ex-service Personnel, Post War Services, Overseas Relief, Shipping and Korean projects).
$50,000 was raised to provide hearing aides, desk monitor sets and hearing rooms in northern schools.
The 75th Anniversary Project “Concern for Children” raised $125,208 from the sale of red floribunda roses, named “IODE Rose” to mark this event.
The National Chapter purchased 38 watercolours by Winifred Petchey Marsh to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the accession to the Throne of Queen Elizabeth II for presentation to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, NWT.
Police Community Relations Awards were created to honour an individual or unit making a significant contribution in their community.
Adopt-A-Class project in Labrador is formed.
The Ursula E. Bangs Scholarship for study in cardiovascular disease is offered annually to a graduate doctor at the University of Toronto.
A Marsh painting is presented to the Prince and Princess of Wales as a wedding gift for their own personal collection by IODE. The Prince of Wales had expressed great interest in the Marsh painting at the opening of the Heritage Centre in 1977.
The Provincial Chapter of Newfoundland is formed.
To recognize the best in Canadian’s children’s literature, The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award was introduced.
The 90th Anniversary project was created to build the IODE Percussive Arts Centre for the Music Camp at the International Peace Garden.
Looking ahead to the 100th Anniversary in the year 2000, a fund was established with a goal of $100,000 to provide a gift for Canada.
IODE approved a formal Mission Statement.
Over 1,870 children enjoyed Snack Pack in Labrador.
Born to Read, a program of providing books to mothers of newborns, was undertaken as an IODE project in New Brunswick, and has become a National Chapter Education project.