IODE: Dr. Herbert A. Bruce Chapter #1933 *

In honour of all members, past and present.

In February 1921 North Bay’s first IODE chapter, Samuel de Champlain Chapter, received its charter. Unfortunately it has since disbanded. In 1925 they erected a Cairn at Nipissing Junction commemorating the journey of Samuel de Champlain who camped near the site in July 1615. After reconstruction in 1989, the Cairn remains to this day.

IODE Dr. Herbert A. Bruce Chapter was established on January 16, 1933 to fulfill a need for assistance in the community during the Depression years. The chapter was named after the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario at that time, the Honorable Herbert Alexander Bruce MD (1868-1963), former MP and accomplished surgeon.

The Mission of IODE: A national women’s charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals, through education support, community service and citizenship programs to improve the quality of life for children, youth and those in need, through education, social service and citizenship programs.

In 1943 the Victory Shop, our main source of fundraising to this day, was initiated by Beth Butler. Items are donated to the shop, cleaned and then sold as ‘gently used’. For over 65 years the members have volunteered their time to run the Victory Shop and a special committee in the chapter ensure the items are in good condition, maintain the constant upkeep and care of the shop and restock items daily. The Victory Shop has been described by some customers as the “best shop in town” and they never know what treasure they are going to find in the shop from day to day. The Victory Shop is located at 358 Algonquin Avenue and is open for business from Monday to Saturday each week from noon until 3:30 p.m. All proceeds from the sales in the shop are donated to various National, Provincial and local projects and organizations.

In addition to the Victory Shop, many members use their talents to knit, quilt and sew items that are donated to various organizations in the community. For example mitts and hats are knit for the Children’s Aid Society and newborn baby toques are provided for the hospital. In 2008 the Chapter took on a daring fundraiser; a “Calendar Girls” 18 month Calendar. The result: a $26,000 Educational Bursary for the North Bay Transition House. Since then we have added a Card Party Luncheon to our repertoire of fundraising events (Spring Garage Sale) that has resulted in donations to One Kid’s Place, the 416 Lakeshore CMH Housing Project and the North Bay Literacy Council. A good portion of the Chapter’s funds goes toward annual scholarships and bursaries for the six local high schools, Canadore College and Nipissing University.

There are 3500 IODE members in Canada and 191 primary chapters across Canada. Funds raised by each chapter are reinvested in Canadian children, families and communities. The Dr. Herbert A. Bruce Chapter has over 40 members at this time, with over 1000 volunteer hours recorded each month.

Teamwork, strong leadership, energy and dedication demonstrated by the members have been essential attributes needed to fulfill the goals and commitments this chapter takes on each year.

Women dedicated to a better Canada