Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire was founded in 1900 in Fredericton, NB, by Margaret Polson Murray of Montréal, who envisioned an organization of women devoted to encouraging imperialism. Beginning with an educational mandate promoting Britain and British institutions through the schools, it became actively involved in both world wars in supporting Canada's efforts on behalf of Britain and the allies. In 1979 the name IODE was officially adopted. IODE chapters are made up of women from many walks of life with a common interest in volunteering their time to improve the quality of life for children, youth and those in need, through educational, social service and citizenship programs. Other areas of interest included immigration, child welfare, community health and social services. In recent years the IODE has concentrated more on community affairs, supporting Canadian educational, cultural and social developments. Although its membership has declined it remains an active women's organization, with 8000 members in 400 branches in 1999.