IBS Crest The Irish Benevolent Society of London
The Irish Benevolent Society, since 1877, has provided an opportunity in the London area for
the Irish and their descendants of all faiths, and their friends, to work together in harmony
for the purpose of preserving their Irish heritage and performing works of benevolence.

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What's New at the Irish Benevolent Society

8 August 2021: Irish Heritage Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

On Sunday, August 8th, we partnered with Fanshawe Pioneer Village to celebrate Irish heritage in Southwestern Ontario at the Corbett Tavern at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The rain held off, and we welcomed over 100 visitors throughout the day to explore information displays featuring Irish Literature and Genealogy. Special guests from the Middlesex Centre Archives, the Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly Museum, the Irish Benevolent Society and Fanshawe Pioneer Village joined the festivities. A special presentation was held at 11:00 a.m. that shared the harrowing story of the families of the Talbot Expedition - the first Irish emigrants to arrive in this part of the London area in 1818. Following the presentation, an interpretive plaque was unveiled to commemorate the expedition. The plaque will be mounted for permanent display inside the Corbett Tavern.

17 March 2021: The 144th Annual St Patrick's Day Celebration

Our first-ever Virtual St Patrick's Day celebration was a great success, and is still available on our YouTube channel. Read more…

17 March 2021: Tribute to Charles Corbett & James Hardy

Society President Jim Nother has written tributes to two of our long-time members, Charles Patrick Corbett and James T. Hardy.

27 June 2020: Fifth Annual General Meeting

The Fifth Annual General Meeting of the Irish Benevolent Society took place on-line on Saturday, June 27th, 2020. Read a summary…

28 June 2019: Marguerite McRoberts

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Marguerite McRoberts. Marguerite was the Society's first female Director; in addition she was an elementary school teacher in Lucan for over 35 years, she was a founding member of Lucan Area Heritage, and she was an active member of her community and of Lucan United Church.

15 March 2019: Donald LeRoy Cosens

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Don Cosens (PP 2009). A long-time member of the Irish Benevolent Society, Don also worked in the Elgin County Registrar's Office and as an auctioneer, and was an amateur historian and geneologist and an active Freemason.

1 March 2019: Dr. L.L. Barrie deVeber

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Dr. Barrie deVeber (PP 1986), who served for many years as one of our Medical Directors. Barrie was a noted pediatric hematologist-oncologist whose carreer spanned Canada, England and Africa, a pioneer in palliative care for children, and initiator of numerous humanitarian organizations including Camp Trillium and the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.

4 December 2018: W. Peter Harding

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death on December 4, 2018 of Peter Harding after a long and difficult illness. Peter was a Past-President (2014), Past-Secretary and current Director of the IBS. In addition to his exemplary work for the Society over several years, Peter’s life, both professional and personal, was one of service to his family, community, church and friends. Among his many accomplishments were his 38 years as a London firefighter, retiring as Deputy-Chief; his involvement with the London Food Bank; his 40 year membership and leadership in St John’s Ambulance Society; his leadership roles in the Knights of Columbus, both local and regional; and his devotion to his parish, St Peter’s Basilica. His family were the beneficiaries of his love of all things Irish and in particular his trips to Ireland to visit his family roots. Peter will be missed, mostly by his family, but certainly by anyone who knew him will feel his loss.

Please keep Peter’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

23 June 2018: Summary of the 3rd Annual General Meeting

The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Irish Benevolent Society of London and Area took place Saturday, Jun 23rd, at 11:00 am (EDT) in the Corbett Tavern at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Read more…

29 April 2018: Director JoAnn Leavey To Receive Honourary Doctorate

Our esteemed Member and Director, Dr JoAnn Leavey, is going to receive another award to add to the many she has already. The University of Western Ontario, at its June Convocation, will bestow on her an Honourary Doctorate of Laws, LLD. This is an incredible, but well deserved , achievement for someone so young. JoAnn is a Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Psychologist, Writer, Poet, Musician and Pilot. While she has formally been a Member of the Society for the past two years and is currently a Director, her involvement in the Society is very deep, being the daughter of the late Vince Leavey, who was our President in 1994.

Congratulations to JoAnn and may she continue to make her family and friends, including those in the Irish Benevolent Society, proud of present and future accomplishments.


9 February 2018: Leo F. White

We are sad to announce the passing on February 9, 2018, of Leo Francis White (Past President 1974). Leo also served as Secretary for several years and, along with the late Bill Reid, provided entertainment at the annual Luncheon.

15 January 2014: IBS Web Site Adds RSS Feed

The Irish Benevolent Society web site now has an RSS feed. If your web browser supports RSS (and most of them do) you can subscribe by clicking on any Subscribe link, or by clicking on the RSS icon () either on a page or in the location bar. Once you have subscribed, your browser will automatically check for updates to the site and notify you when an update has occurred.

8 September 2013: University of Western Ontario Alumni Honour IBS Director

Congratulations to Irish Benevolent Society Medical Director Dr. Robert Farley on being awarded the UWO Alumni Association's Dr. Ivan Smith Award of Merit. For more information, please visit Alumni Western.

8 December 2011: The Society Gains a Permanent Home

In 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding between Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London, Ontario, and the Irish Benevolent Society established the Corbett Tavern as the first permanent home of the Society. From its founding in 1877, the Executive of the Irish Benevolent Society have had no permanent meeting place, and instead have met in numerous locations selected by the serving President.

John Corbett (1816-1906) was oldest child of Patrick Corbett (1788-1863) and Elizabeth Spearman (1796-1866). In 1819 he emigrated from Borrisokane, County Tipperary, with his parents on the brigantine Brunswick as part of the Richard Talbot group. Patrick settled in the Richmond Military Settlement, in March Township, in the Ottawa River Valley. In 1842 John married Jane Lewis (1816-1883), formerly of Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary. They settled soon thereafter in McGillivray Township in the County of Middlesex and erected a log house from elm trees cut on the site. The house served as a family home until 1947 and as a family social centre until 2008. It was then donated to Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The project has been funded by Charles Patrick and Elizabeth Corbett & Family with assistance from the Irish Benevolent Society.

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