PEI

P.E.I. chapter of women's charity folds after 118 years

After 118 years, the second oldest chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire in Canada has folded.

IODE chapter on P.E.I. formed in 1901 to raise money for soldiers and veterans of the Boer War

Members of the Royal Edward chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire include Elizabeth Boswell, Jean Burch, Sister Mary Decourcey and Irene Gallant. (Submitted by Sharon Smith)

After 118 years, the second oldest chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire in Canada has folded.

The group is a women's charitable organization with approximately 3,000 members and 200 chapters across Canada. The Royal Edward chapter began on P.E.I. in April 1901, one year after the first chapter started in Fredericton.

In the early years, members sent parcels and raised money for soldiers and veterans of the Boer War, and later to those in the world wars.

But in the last number of decades, the focus has been on education, helping youth and those in need in the community.

Irene Gallant, president of the Royal Edward chapter, said membership had declined to just five, including two in their late 90s and two in their 80s.

The International Order Daughters of the Empire began in Fredericton in 1900. (IODE Canada/Facebook)

"It was with heavy hearts, I must say, that we took the decision to do this," she said. "With only five members and certainly the age of some of the membership, it just did not seem to be viable for the future."

A special closing celebration will be held next week. 

Gallant said the chapter has set up an endowment fund at UPEI and a scholarship at Holland College.

There are still other active chapters of the IODE on P.E.I.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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