|Photo: Len Dalman||Author: Karen Botting, Winnipeg, MB
Ninety-nine years ago, on March 16, 1916, a group of Icelandic women formed the Jon Sigurdsson Primary Chapter of IODE in Winnipeg. Today, it continues to thrive, with a membership made up predominantly of women with Icelandic heritage.
In one year, the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter will celebrate its 100th anniversary and, in order to countdown to this momentous occasion, the 100th Anniversary Committee will submit articles to Lögberg-Heimskringla on a monthly basis outlining its history, decade by decade.
The national IODE began in 1900 as a Canadian women’s charitable organization by women who wanted to help the soldiers fighting in the African wars. By 1916, the focus had changed to supporting the soldiers in World War I. Thus, the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter was created largely to make a worthwhile contribution toward the war effort.
Today the mission of the IODE is to improve the quality of life for children, youth, and those in need, through education, social service, and citizenship programs. There are approximately 50 current members who support a scholarship program, presenting between 12 and 15 scholarships annually to Manitoba students attending universities and other post-secondary institutions, or pursuing advanced music programs.