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Irish Benevolent Society of London, Ontario

The Irish Benevolent Society of London, Ontario is a philanthropic organization founded on March 1, 1877. Its purposes are to provide opportunities for Canadians of Irish descent and their friends to engage in benevolent activities and to preserve their Irish heritage.

Irish Benevolent Society of London, Ontario
TypeIrish organization based in London, Ontario, Ontario, Canada
Legal statusactive
Purposeadvocate and public voice, educator and network
HeadquartersLondon, Ontario, Canada
Region served
London, Ontario, Canada
Official language
English, French
AffiliationsBenevolent Irish Society

The Society was unique at the time of its foundation in accepting both Roman Catholic and Protestant members. In much of Ontario sectarianism ruled, and continued to rule until well into the twentieth century, with the Orange Order pitted against Roman Catholic and other organizations. In fact, the constitution of the Society provides that presidents (who are elected for one year) must be alternately Roman Catholic and Protestant. The discussion of Irish politics has also been forbidden at meetings since the Society's inception. The Society was immediately popular, and as a result of its popularity the importance of separate Protestant and Roman Catholic organizations in municipal politics was markedly reduced.

The Society's chief fundraising event benefits the Lawson Health Research Institute, but it also helps many other institutions and individuals.

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