Fonds - Admiral Vansittart IODE fonds

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Admiral Vansittart IODE fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Object
  • Graphic material

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Physical description

approx. 1.65 m of textual records
5 samples of beadwork

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Name of creator

(1903 - 2010)

Administrative history

The Admiral Vansittart Chapter of the IODE began as the Duchess of Argyle Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in Woodstock, on October 26, 1903 when the younger members of the Havelock Chapter #45 withdrew to form their own group. Its charter was granted on November 25, 1903 and the chapter number awarded to the organization was ON - 0656. In May 1908, a motion to change the name was sent to the national IODE Headquarters and in November of that same year, the name was officially changed to the Admiral Vansittart Chapter. The chapter's motto was “Ready and Faithful” (taken from the family crest of Miss Florence J. Ball, first regent of the Chapter) and was named after Admiral Henry Vansittart, who settled in Woodstock in 1834 after a distinguished naval career.
The Vansittart Chapter organized such events as teas, card parties, plays, organ recitals, fashion shows, dances and musical comedies, books fairs, and held various fundraisers in support of the war effort and local charities. During the Great War, Chapter members helped to form the Patriotic Women’s League where the women involved helped raise funds for mobile canteens, knitted socks and scarves for soldiers and assembled and shipped food parcels overseas. They also arranged a Coronation Fair at the Armoury and catered the Military Ball held annual by the 22nd Regiment with which the Chapter was affiliated with in the 1920s. For 38 years, up until 1952, the Chapter was known for its New Year’s Eve dances held annually at the Armouries that were considered the social event of the season. During the Second World War they joined forces with the Havelock Chapter to conduct salvage collections, driving trucks and sorting tons of paper and other material. The money raised was spent on the comforts for service men. In addition, they co-operated with the Havelock Chapter in raising money for the war memorial in Victoria Park.
Since 1946, one of their major fundraising ventures was their Opportunity Shop, housed in various locations over the years, which sold second-hand clothing and household goods to the public. Money raised by the shop went to the Woodstock General Hospital, Woodingford Lodge and other agencies across the city, as well as scholarships and other projects. Charitable initiatives supported by the chapter included an annual dinner for honour students at each of the local Secondary Schools, participation in local Citizenship Ceremonies, and sponsoring schools in Old Crow, Yukon and Jamaica. The Chapter also undertook the restoration of the Vansittart Vault in the cemetery grounds of the historic Old St. Paul’s Church, provided playground equipment to several city parks, and for several years sponsored the Second Girl Guide Company of Woodstock, which was known briefly as the 69th IODE Company. In addition, members of the chapter participated in provincial and national events and initiatives, including the creation of a genetic clinic that tested for hereditary diseases.
Prominent members of the chapter included Florence Bell (who held the position of regent of the Chapter for eight years), Betty Buck, Patricia Garland, Helen Karn, and J. H. Parker.
Although at one time it was the largest Chapter in Canada with 122 members, with declining membership, members of the Vansittart Chapter decided to close on December 8, 2010. A final tea was held for the remaining members in February 2011.

Custodial history

The records were created by members of the Admiral Vansittart Chapter of the IODE. Following the Chapters closure, the records were donated by the executive members to the Oxford Historical Society, and were then transferred to the Oxford County Archives in 2010.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of various materials related to the activities of the Admiral Vansittart Chapter of the IODE and is arranged into the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Administration
Subseries A: Minute Books
Subseries B: Annual Reports
Subseries C: Financial Records
Subseries D: Membership
Subseries E: Constitution and History

Series 2: Citizenship Ceremonies

Series 3: Captain Andrew Drew Junior Chapter

Series 4: Sponsorship Programs
Subseries A: Old Crow, Yukon
Subseries B: Westwood High School, Stewart Town, Jamaica

Series 5: Opportunity Shop
Subseries A: Operations
Subseries B: Finances
Subseries C: Opportunity Tea and Coffee + One Party
Subseries D: Shop Schedules

Series 6: Special Events
Subseries A: Meetings
Subseries B: Anniversaries
Subseries C: IODE Week
Subseries D: Chapter Teas
Subseries E; Honor Student Dinners
Subseries F: Centennial Fashion Show
Subseries G: Founders Day / Old St. Paul’s
Subseries H: Scrapbooks
Subseries I: Miscellaneous

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials in this collection are mostly in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired in 2011 by the County of Oxford Archives from the Oxford Historical Society.


Language of material

  • Canadian English

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Restrictions on access

The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

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An item level description is available for researchers.

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