Myrtle Pruden

100-year celebration benefits Shriners Hospitals for kids

Daughters of the Nile bring 100-year heritage to special banquet

A woman might be hesitant share her age, but the Daughters of the Nile are boasting about turning 100 this fall and will be celebrating by raising funds for in-need children.

People in the community may not be familiar with the exclusive organization, but Daughters of the Nile supports the work of the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and has raised more than $1.7 million internationally for the hospital this year through the Canadian Trust and Daughters of the Nile Foundation.

“Shriners Hospitals do such wonderful work for children,” says Myrtle Pruden, queen of Victoria’s Miriam Temple No. 2. “What’s so special about the hospital is that if people can’t afford a service, it is done for free – and anyone can access that, they don’t need to be related to a shriner.”

While the group is not religious, women can only become members through a previous affiliation with a Shriner, a Master Mason or an associated organization, like the U.S. Rainbow Girls. Still, while there is no other way to join, Pruden encourages all those who think they might have a connection to get in contact with a local lodge to seek out a heritage link. Meanwhile, she emphasizes that everyone is welcome at the fundraising dinner banquet and dance on Sept. 27, which coincides with a visit from Margaret Ann Risk, supreme queen of the Supreme Temple of Daughter of the Nile in Texas.

Right now, the Shriners serve 500 children from B.C., 89 of those from Vancouver Island. While there is a Canadian Shriners Hospital in Montreal, the closest of the 22 international locations are in Spokane, Wash. and Portland, Ore., meaning most Vancouver Island kids head south for treatment. A representative from the Portland hospital will also be attending the dinner on Sept. 27.

The international fraternal organization started in Seattle in 1913, and Victoria’s Miriam Temple was constructed in 1918, making it the second temple (out of 139) created world-wide. In celebrating 100 years as a philanthropic women’s group, Pruden says things have changed, but their mission is the same.

“We basically started as a group for women interested in bettering society,” Pruden says. “It started out for good, pure-minded women who wanted to better their world, and it’s still that way.”

The Victoria group holds meetings for 258 Vancouver Island-based residents, with members ranging in age from 19 to 90. From fundraising luncheons and dinners to social gatherings, fashion shows and entertainment events, the group has a diverse array of offerings. Pruden came to the group 13 years ago, after meeting other members through her husband’s Shriners group.

“I was interested in being a part of the choir, and I was really interested in becoming a bellydancer,” says Pruden with a laugh. “It’s very nice to belong to a group that has such an altruistic objective to it. We just have so many fun events, but it’s just great to know that the work you do can affect a child in such a wonderful way.”

Join the Daughters of the Nile 100-year anniversary banquet Friday, Sept. 27, 5 p.m. at the Comfort Inn & Suites Conference Centre (3020 Blanshard St.). Tickets are $40 and include dinner, entertainment and dancing. Purchase tickets by calling Ardath at 250-479-2132. Learn more about the organization at

Just Posted

Award-winning harmonica player transforms instrument on stage

Carlos del Junco plays Upstairs Lounge Friday March 23

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Piano campaign purchases piano and more for Oak Bay theatre

Surplus funds sound mixer and console for Dave Dunnet Community Theatre

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Monterey student sale a swarming success

Community shows up in record number for middle school event

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Most Read