Celebrating 65 years of service to Petrolia


Heather Wright Photo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEA   Marj Butler serves up tea for Linda Vachon during the Margaret Stokes IODE’s 65th Anniversary Tea Saturday in Petrolia.


They may be known as the Butter Tart Ladies, but Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey says members of the Margaret Stokes IODE in Petrolia have been providing opportunity and hope for the last 65 years.

About 50 people gathered Saturday for tea to celebrate 65 years of helping the community.  The chapter was organized in 1949 and was named after the then 100-year-old Margaret Stokes. She had been active in a number of community projects and the women wanted to honour her work.

Margaret Stokes’ family is still involved with the group. A great granddaughter, who lives in BC, still comes out to help present the scholarships named in honour of Stokes to elementary school students.

Now, the IODE is involved in many community projects, from fundraisers like their famous butter tarts and pies, to scholarships for elementary school children to caring for community gardens.

“You are an integral part of the community,” Bailey told the women during the tea. Petrolia Mayor John McCharles agreed. “The backbone of the community is our volunteers…it is because of people like you that Petrolia thrives.”

“We hope to carry on the tradition of IODE for another 65 years,” says Member Gloria Saunders.