Nationwide every year in February, IODE (federally chartered and originally known as Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire) celebrates Founder’s Day by commemorating its founding in 1900 by Margaret Polson Murray.
On February 3rd at Brights Grove’s Huron Oaks Restaurant, approximately 40 local IODE members and guests enjoyed a time of fellowship to remember a woman’s love and passion for service to others and country, which gave birth to IODE.
Fast forward in 2024, IODE is still going strong in many cities and towns in Canada and continues to be an organization of women who are Inclusive, Organized, Dedicated and Enthusiastic in helping enhance the quality of life for those in need through education support, community service and citizenship programs.
The combined work of the three local IODE primary chapters who are each celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, IODE Errol Egremont for 45 years, IODE Hon. Malcolm Cameron for 70 years in Sarnia and the IODE Margaret Stokes for 75 years in Petrolia is a continuing testament to their commitment to service to both community and country.
An award spearheaded many years ago by the now retired Sarnia-Lambton municipal IODE Chapter in recognizing a local member of the police, fire and first responders has been rejuvenated after its absence during the COVID pandemic.
This year, Sarnia Fire Rescue Chief Bryan Van Gaver was presented this honour, for the community service he has provided above and beyond his 37 years of service as Fire Chief. The award also consists of a monetary award designated by the recipient to his charitable project-the Inn of the Good Shepherd.
His Worship the Mayor of Sarnia, Mike Bradley (a longtime friend of the IODE), Lambton County Warden Kevin Marriott, IODE Ontario President, Helen Danby were on hand to help celebrate Founder’s Day.
Also in attendance was Deputy Chief Dale Gartshore who introduced Chief VanGaver.
Congratulations to Chief Bryan VanGaver and thank you for all you do.