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The Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE, Winnipeg, held a very successful Bridge and Whist Luncheon at Betelstaður on Saturday, September 24, 2011. Featured was a sumptuous home baking table that included many Icelandic delicacies. Highlights of the delicious luncheon were rúllupylsa on brown bread and a dessert that included vínarterta and pönnukökur, a meal that was enjoyed by all. Other popular attractions were the Tombola prizes and the door prizes.

Our card players were a dedicated and competitive group. Congratulations to the following people who won prizes for high scores in bridge and whist.
First: Ingrid Slobodian
Second: Lillian Thomas
Third: Frank Wilson
First: Yvonne Briese
Second: Olga Slobogian

The IODE is now only known by its initials, as the original name is outdated (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire). Our Chapter has always been unique because of its ethnic origins.

The Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE was formed in Winnipeg in 1916 to give support to Canadian armed forces serving in World War I. Members knit, wrote letters, rolled bandages and served wherever needed to help our troops overseas. Later, the Chapter compiled and published two books, Veterans of Icelandic Descent in North America, one volume each for World War I and World War II, recording the service records and biographical details of veterans of Icelandic descent. Both books will soon be available online through the Icelandic Collection at the University of Manitoba.

In 2008, our Chapter attended a rededication ceremony of the Tear Drop Section of the Field of Honour, held at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg. The forward-looking IODE Chapters in Manitoba purchased this area after World War I to provide a final resting place for the veterans who had sacrificed their lives. It is beautifully landscaped, with maintenance funded by the Federal Government.

The proceeds raised by our two fundraising Bridge and Whist Luncheons, in September and March, go to fund our scholarship and community programs. The Jon Sigurdsson Chapter annually awards from nine to 13 scholarships, worth approximately $9,000, to deserving Manitoba students who are entering or continuing their studies at the university level. Information on applying for these scholarships appears in L-H each year in the spring.

Other programs supported by our Chapter include: assisting at the Manitoba Citizenship Court for new Canadians; purchase of African drums for the music program at the Peaceful Village, an after-school program for refugee and immigrant children and their families; annual gifts of money and goods-in-kind for support programs at Mulvey and Isaac Brock Schools, as well as at Rossbrook House, an after-school program in the core area. Our Chapter received the Mayor’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010 in recognition of our work in the community.

Annually on June 17, the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE participates in the wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Jón Sigurðsson on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building, followed by a program to celebrate the anniversary of Iceland’s Independence. This enjoyable evening is organized in partnership with the Icelandic Canadian Frón.
“The Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE thanks everyone who attended and made our Fall Bridge and Whist Luncheon such a success.

Your support will enable us to continue our scholarship programs for deserving Manitoba students, as well as our community and citizenship programs. We look forward to seeing all our friends again in March, 2012 at our Spring Bridge and Whist Luncheon,” said the members.
For information on joining the Jon Sigurdsson Chapter IODE, contact the Membership Chairman Erla Wankling at 489-3684.

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