Independent Order of Odd Fellows


Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
IOOF
Official Logo of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Founded April 26, 1819 (1819-04-26) (192 years ago)
Baltimore, Maryland US
Type Service Fraternity
Scope International
Motto Friendship,
Love,
Truth
Colors      White      Blue and      Red
Symbol Three Link Chain
Headquarters Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Homepage http://www.ioof.org
"Past Grand Sires of the Grand Lodge of the United States IOOF" including founder Thomas Wildey.
The IOOF Hall at the corner of Yonge and College streets in Toronto, Ontario.
The IOOF building at 47 Gawler Place, Adelaide.
The IOOF Building in San Diego, California.
Odd Fellow-gården, Stortingsgata 28, Oslo.
Lodge buildings bearing the IOOF emblem stand in many small American towns. (Rockfield, Indiana shown.)

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), also known as the Three Link Fraternity, is an altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the similar British Oddfellows service organizations which came into being during the 18th century, at a time when altruistic and charitable acts were far less common.[1] In the U.S., it is a Mutual Benefit Corporation[2] (U.S. IRS tax code 501(c)(8)).

The word "Independent" in the organization's name was given by the English parent organization as part of the chartered title in the new North American chapter:

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.
[1]

Contents

Philosophy and purpose

As an organization, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows aims to provide a framework that promotes personal and social development. Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity. Teachings in the Order are conducted through the exemplification of the Degrees of membership. The Degrees are conferred on the candidate by their Lodge, and are teachings of principles and truths by ceremonies and symbols. The Degrees are presented largely by means of allegory and drama.[3] For Odd Fellows, the degrees in Odd Fellowship emphasizes a leaving of the old life and the start of a better one, of welcoming travelers, and of helping those in need.[4] Lodges also provide an international social network of brothers and sisters that extends to more than 26 countries worldwide. If travelling is an interest, membership can provide a valuable network that will very much welcome an international visitor, and assist in their enterprises, and certainly their travels wherever possible.[5] The command of the IOOF is to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan." Specifically, IOOF are dedicated to the following purposes:

  • To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity and universal justice.[5][6]
  • To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other in times of need and by organizing charitable projects and activities that would benefit the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in every way possible.
  • To promote good will and harmony amongst peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion, social status, gender, rank and station are brothers and sisters

Around the world, the Odd Fellows undertake various community and charitable projects. According to an IOOF Sovereign Grand Lodge brochure, the organization's works include:[7][8]

  • The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs spend over US$775 million in relief projects annually
  • The Educational Foundation provides substantial loans and grants to students
  • SOS Children’s Village provides a caring home for orphaned children in 132 countries around the world
  • Odd Fellow and Rebekah Homes provide a caring environment for the elderly
  • Living Legacy focuses on planting trees and enhancing the environment
  • The Arthritis Foundation
  • Visual Research Foundation supports vision care and research through the Wilmer Eye Institute
  • United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth sponsors a group of students for an educational trip to the United Nations
  • Annual sponsorship of a float in the Rose Parade (Pasadena, California)
  • Annual pilgrimages to the "Tomb of the Unknowns" (Arlington National Cemetery, USA), and other Tombs of the Unknown Soldier.[9]
  • Odd Fellow and Rebekah Homes provides a caring environment for the elderly and orphans
  • Odd Fellow and Rebekah camps and parks provide recreation for the youth and for families

Fellowship in the IOOF entails:[10]

  • One of the strongest fraternal societies in the world.[11]
  • A great worldwide united brotherhood.
  • A fraternity founded on the basis of universal brotherhood.
  • Based on the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
  • Founded on the North American continent in 1819.
  • Based upon the purest principles of equality.
  • Non-political and non-sectarian.
  • A source of comfort in times of trouble and adversity.
  • A world-wide force that stands for all that is noblest and highest.
  • An everyday guide for conduct, a mantle that should be worn always.
  • An organization that favors no person for their wealth and frowns on none for their poverty.
  • An ideal that exists in the heart and mind of every genuine Odd Fellow or Rebekah.
  • Fulfilling a mission in the world which no other institution has successfully attempted.
  • A vitalizing, sympathetic, and actuating influence in the lives of all its real members.
  • A ministering spirit succoring the needy, cheering the despondent and protecting the helpless.
  • The handmaid of virtue and religion.
  • Founded on the inspired word of God as revealed to man in the Holy scriptures.

Name

Several theories aim to explain the meaning of the name "Odd Fellows".

One says that they were called "odd" because in the beginning of Odd Fellowship in the 18th century, at the time of industrialization, it was rather odd to find people who followed noble values such as benevolence, charity and fraternalism.[12]

A variation on that theory states: "The Odd Fellows, at least according to one story, got its curious name from the fact that it was a lodge that opened its doors to the working class who at that time did not ordinarily belong to fraternal orders—and were thus 'odd'. This may or may not be true as the Odd Fellows have been around for a long time and a good many things get lost in the fog of history."[13]

Another theory states that Odd Fellows were people who engaged in miscellaneous or "odd" trades. In the 18th century, major trades were organized in guilds or other forms of syndicate, but smaller trades did not have any social or financial security. For that reason, people who exercised unusual trades joined together to form a larger group of "odd" fellows.[12]

A slightly different version of this second theory states: "By the 13th century, the tradesmen's Guilds had become established and prosperous. During the 14th Century, with the growth of trade, the guild 'Masters' moved to protect their power (and wealth) by restricting access to the Guilds. In response, the less experienced (and less wealthy) 'Fellows' set up their own rival Guilds. In smaller towns and villages, there weren't enough Fellows from the same trade to set up a local Guild, so Fellows from a number of trades banded together to form a local Guild of Fellows from an odd assortment of trades. Hence, Guilds of Odd Fellows."[14]

History

"In all times and among all nations which have reached a sufficient level of cultural development, there have always been voluntary associations formed for higher purposes. It is admitted that 'mystery of long-past ages enshrouds the origin of Odd Fellowship'",[15] and that the exact date of its first founding is 'lost in the mist of antiquity'.[16] The Manchester Unity Oddfellows (in United Kingdom) state on their website that "Oddfellows can trace its roots back to the Trade Guilds of the 12th and 13th centuries.[17] Some believe that there are records in Scotland which show that the Oddfellows in its original form may have arisen in the 1500s.[18][19] Some historians claim that it existed before 1650.[20]

What is clear is that there were numerous Oddfellow organizations in England in the 1700s.[4] One Edwardian Oddfellow history argued that in 1710 there was a 'Loyal Lintot of Oddfellows' in London.[21] The first Oddfellows group in South Yorkshire, England, dates from 1730.[22] The earliest surviving documented evidence of an “Oddfellows” lodge is the minutes of Loyal Aristarchus Oddfellow Lodge no. 9 in England, dated March 12, 1748. By it being lodge number 9, this connotes that there were older Oddfellows lodges that existed before this date.[23] As a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (when the Protestant William of Orange replaced the Catholic King James II), by the mid-18th century, the Order of Patriotic Oddfellows had formed in the south of England, supporting William,[24] and The Ancient Order of Oddfellows had formed in the north, supporting the Stuarts.[22] Subsequent to the failure of Bonnie Prince Charlie's uprising, in 1789 these two Orders formed a partial amalgamation as the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. These days they are more commonly known as "The Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society" (GUOOFS),[25] abandoning all political and religious disputes and committing itself to promoting the harmony and welfare of its members. Some books mention that there was a lodge of a 'Union Order of Oddfellows' in London in 1750, and one in Derby in 1775.[26] The Oddfellows Magazine of 1888 included a picture of a medal presented to the secretary of a lodge of the Grand Independent Order of Oddfellows in 1796. On a magazine review of a 1798 sermon preached in the Sheffield Parish Church, the "Oddfellows appear to be very numerous with about thirty-nine lodges of them in London and its vicinity, two at Sheffield, and one at each of the following places: Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Windsor, Wandsworth, Canterbury, Liverpool, Richmond in Surrey and Lewes".[27] This suggested that the "Original United Order of Oddfellows" consisted of a total of 50 lodges at that time. In 1810, various lodges of the Union or United Order in the Manchester area declared themselves as an "Independent Order", and organized the "Manchester Unity of Oddfellows" which chartered the Odd Fellows in North America in 1819.[28][29]

While several unofficial or self-institued lodges had existed in New York City sometime in the period 1806 to 1818,[30] because of the charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern[31] on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey and some associates[1] who assembled in response to a newspaper advertisement. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges.

In 1842, after an elementary dispute on whether the American lodges were to be involved in decision-making procedures, the American Lodges formed a separate governing system from the English Order, and in 1843 changed their name to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.[28] In the following years, lodges were instituted all over the country, first in the east and later in the west. Also in 1842, the English Oddfellow Grand Lodges issued a warrant to an African American sailor named Peter Ogden from New York City; unlike Wildey and the IOOF, Ogden and the African American Odd Fellows lodges never separated from the English order, and they remain part of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (GUOOF),[32] still headquartered in Philadelphia.[28]

On September 20, 1851, IOOF became the first national fraternity to accept both men and women when it formed the Daughters of Rebekah. Schuyler Colfax, (Vice President of the United States (1869–1873) under President Ulysses S. Grant), was the force behind the movement.[33][28] Both the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have higher branches known as Encampments and Patriarchs Militant.[34][35]

The American Civil War (1861–1865) shattered the IOOF in America; membership decreased and many lodges were unable to continue their work, especially in the southern States.[36] After the Civil War, with the beginning of industrialization, the deteriorating social circumstances brought large numbers of people to the IOOF and the lodges rallied.

From 1860 to 1910/1920, also known as the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in America,[13][28] the Odd Fellows became the largest among all fraternal organizations, (at the time, even larger than freemasonry).[28] By 1889, the IOOF had lodges in every American state.[37][38]

In 1896, the World Almanac showed the Odd Fellows as the largest among all fraternal organizations.[13] The Order had also spread to most of the rest of the world, establishing lodges in the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. The peak of membership was probably in 1915 when the IOOF had 3.4 million active members.[39]

20th century

The Great Depression and the introduction of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal brought a decline in membership. During the depression, people could not afford Odd Fellows membership fees, and when the New Deal's social reforms started to take effect, the need for the social work of the Odd Fellows declined.[36]

Some branches of the order (i.e. some countries) have allowed women to join the Odd Fellows itself, leading to the Rebekahs' decline in importance. Also, the higher branches and their degrees are, in some countries, becoming regarded as less important or too time-consuming, and (in those countries) are gradually being abandoned.

21st century

Although there was a decline in membership in fraternal organizations in general during the 20th century, membership in the 21st century has started to increase. The IOOF continues in the 21st century with lodges around the world, and is claimed to be the "largest united international fraternal order in the world under one head",[40] with every lodge working with the Sovereign Grand Lodge located in the United States. Also, the British "Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity", and the IOOF have recognized each other inter-fraternally; members of the Manchester Unity and the IOOF can visit each other's lodges, and are welcome as brothers and sisters.[41] Currently, there are about 12,000 lodges with nearly 600,000 members.[42]

Units of the Order in the U.S.A. include:[43]

  • Odd Fellows Lodge
  • Rebekahs Lodge
  • Encampment
  • Ladies Encampment Auxiliary (LEA)
  • Patriarchs Militant
  • Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant (LAPM)
  • Junior Odd Fellows Lodge
  • Theta Rho Girls Club
  • United Youth Groups
  • Zeta Lambda Tau

Summary of Grand Lodges by region

There are IOOF lodges in at least 29 countries:[43][44][45][46][47][48] Each Grand Lodge has a number of subordinate lodges that report to them.

Region
Total
Grand
Lodges
Ref Regions / Jurisdictions / Countries    (Date established) Ref
Africa 0 [45]
[46]
[47]
Liberia (1874)*,[49] Nigeria (2008)*,[50] [45]
[46]
[47]
Asia 0 Philippines (1872)*[45][49][51]
Australasia 6 Australasia, New South Wales (1836), New Zealand (1843), South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia
Canada 8 Canada (1843), Alberta, Atlantic Provinces, British Columbia (1864), Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (1878), Saskatchewan
Europe 13 Europe (2006), Austria, Czech Republic (1877)*,[43][49] Denmark (1878), Estonia (1993)*,[43][49] Finland (1925), France (1884)*,[43][49] Germany (1870), Iceland (1897), Netherlands & Belgium (1911), Norway (1898), Poland (1938)*,[43][49] Spain*,[43][49] Sweden (1895), Switzerland (1871)
Central America 2 Belize*,[43][49] Dominican Republic*,[43][49] Cuba (1883), Mexico (1882), Puerto Rico (1999)*,[49][52]
South America 1 Chile (1874),[53] Uruguay*,[43][49] Venezuela,[43][49]
United Kingdom 0 (The IOOF in United Kingdom is under the mother chapter, Manchester Unity.)[48]
United States of America 51 Sovereign Grand Lodge (1819), Alabama, Arizona (1884), Arkansas, California (1847), Colorado (1860), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (1846), Idaho, Illinois (1838), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri (1834), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (1806), North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma (1875), Oregon, Pennsylvania (1821), Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington (1878), West Virginia, Wisconsin (1835), Wyoming
Totals 81

Symbols, lodges, officers, positions and degrees

In order to fully understand the purposes and principles of Odd Fellowship, instruction in ceremonial form is divided into degrees. These degrees are dramatic in form and aim to emulate and impart the principles of the fraternity: Friendship, Love, Truth, Faith, Hope, Charity and Universal Justice. Each degree consists of symbols that aim to teach a practical moral code and encourages members to live and act upon them to act positive change upon the world.[54] In the past, when most Odd Fellows lodges offered financial benefits for the sick and distressed members, such symbols, passwords and hand signs were used as proof of membership and protects the lodge funds from impostors. These symbols, signs and passwords are carried up until the modern times as a tradition.[55] The most widely encountered symbol of the IOOF – on signs and gravemarkers – is the three-link chain ("the Chain With Three Links", the "Triple Links") with three initials, 'F', 'L' and 'T', one each inside each link, signifying Friendship, Love and Truth.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the US has three levels of "Lodge": the Lodge,[56] the Encampment, and the Patriarchs Militant. In addition, there is a private club named The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS). In Australia, this system has been implemented in a slightly different, but largely similar manner.[57]

Lodge

The Lodge is assigned to new initiates.[58] The initials of the subordinate lodge are "FLT" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth as the basic guides to live by as an Odd Fellow. Once a member has made their way through all the degrees and has had the 3rd degree (truth) bestowed upon them, they are entitled to hold an officer position in their lodge, and are also eligible to go on further in Odd Fellowship through the higher degree branches such as the Encampment and the Patriarchs Militant (aka the Canton).

Lodge Officer Positions[59]
Office Elected/Appointed Duty
Noble Grand Elected Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of lodge to outside persons and organizations and see that the lodge program is planned in advance
Vice Grand Elected Exercise power to assist Noble Grand in Presiding Meetings. Assume the duties and responsibilities of the NG in times of absence or if necessary
Past Grand Elected Assist Noble Grand and lodge officers in every way possible. May act as NG or VG when legally called thereto
Secretary Elected Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.
Financial Secretary Elected Notify and collect to members their dues and financial obligations
Treasurer Elected Keeps an accurate file of all finances and receipts of the lodge and writes all checks ordered
Warden Appointed Responsible for the general welfare of the applicant, examines all present before the lodge is opened, give charge of office during initiations, in-charge of regalia and lodge room property and will place regalia in the lodge room before and removing it on closing
Conductor Appointed Receives the candidates when they enter the lodge room, perform all duties assigned in conferring the degrees and assist the Warden while in the lodge
Chaplain Appointed Leads the opening the closing ceremonies and performs all functions assigned during conferral of degrees
Right Supporter of Noble Grand Appointed Supports the NG in keeping order, execute commands, open and close the lodge in due form, see that signs are given correctly and occupy chair of NG when vacated temporarily during lodge hours.
Left Supporter of Noble Grand Appointed See that members who enter the room are in proper regalia and give the signs correctly and to officiate for the Right Supporter when absent
Right Supporter of Vice Grand Appointed Observe that members give the signs correctly, report to the Noble Grand members that do not conduct themselves according to the regulations of the Order.
Left Supporter of Vice Grand Appointed Assist the Right Supporter and officiate for that officer when absent
Color Bearer Appointed Oversees flags and proper presentation of such
Right Scene supporter Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
Left Scene Supporter Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
Inner Guardian Appointed Guards the inner door
Outer Guardian Appointed Guards the outer door
Musician (Optional) Appointed Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.
Subordinate Lodge Degrees

0 Initiatory
1 Friendship
2 Brotherly/Sisterly Love
3 Truth

Encampment

The Encampment is a higher branch in the IOOF and is open to third degree members in good standing. This branch is based on the principles of Faith, Hope and Charity. One must go through the Encampment first before seeking entrance into the highest branch, the Patriarchs Militant.[60] Once one has accomplished the Royal Purple degree of the Encampment, one is eligible to hold an officer position in the Encampment and is also eligible for the Patriarchs Militant.

The initials of the Encampment are FHC which stands for Faith, Hope and Charity. The Encampment's seal is a purple tent with golden trim, the triple links above the tent door and crossed shepherds crooks. These symbols can be seen on the purple fez that American members of this branch wear. One must retain their membership and remain in good standing within their own subordinate lodge while in the Encampment.

Encampment Officers[59]
Office Elected/Appointed Duty
Chief Patriarch (male)/Chief Matriarch (female) Elected Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of Encampment to outside persons and organizations and see that the program is planned in advance
Senior Warden Elected Exercise power to assist Chief Patriarch and High Priest in Presiding Meetings. Assume the duties and responsibilities of the CP in times of absence or if necessary
Junior Warden Elected Examine members prior to opening and assist Chief Patriarch and High Priest
High Priest Elected Provide counsel to members
Scribe Elected Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.
Financial Scribe Elected Notify and collect to members their dues and financial obligations
Treasurer Elected Keeps an accurate file of all finances and receipts of the lodge and writes all checks ordered
Chaplain Appointed Leads the opening the closing ceremonies and performs all functions assigned during conferral of degrees
Color Bearer Appointed Oversees flags and proper presentation of such
Guide Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
Instructor Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
First, Second, Third, Fourth Guardian of the Tent All Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
First, Second, Third, Fourth Watch All Appointed Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book
Inside Sentinel Appointed Guards the inner door
Outside Sentinel Appointed Guards the outer door
Musician (Optional) Appointed Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.
Encampment Degrees

1 Patriarch
2 Golden Rule
3 Royal Purple

Again, in legal terminology, American Encampments are also considered U.S. I.R.S. 501(c)(8) Mutual Benefit Corporations.

Patriarchs Militant

Founded during the American Civil war, the Patriarchs Militant (PM) is Odd Fellowship's uniformed branch,[61] and is the branch which offers the highest degree of the IOOF. It is purely semi-military in its character, organized for chivalric display and is admirably fulfilling its mission through the annual 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers' ceremony held in Washington, DC, Canada and other public ceremonies conducted in several countries such as Cuba.[62]

There is only one degree, the Chevalier degree. Upon completion of this degree, one is entitled to hold office in the Canton. Sometimes the Patriarchs Militant is referred to as "the Canton", due to the Canton being the name used in lieu of "Lodge". The seal of the PM is a gold and jeweled crown, within which is a shepherds crook crossed with a sword and the triple links of Odd Fellowship connecting the two at the bottom. One must retain their membership and remain in good standing within both the subordinate lodge and Encampment while a member of the PM.

Canton Officers
Office Elected/Appointed Duty
Commandant Elected Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of Canton to outside persons and organizations and see that the program is planned in advance
Lieutenant Elected
Ensign Elected Examine members prior to opening and assist Commandant and Lieutenant
Clerk/Accountant Elected Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.
Chaplain Appointed Leads opening and closing prayer
Color Bearer Appointed Oversees flags and proper presentation of such
Guard Appointed
Sentinel Appointed
Picket Appointed
Musician (Optional) Appointed Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.
Patriarch Militant Degree

1 Chevalier

American Cantons are also considered US IRS 501(c) (8) Mutual Benefit Corporations.

The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS)

AMOS[63] was preceded by a number of independent clubs, such as the OOH&P (Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection) and the Imperial Order of Muscovites. These were disbanded in the first two decades of the 20th Century, and melded together to form the AMOS. The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans is not an officially recognized body within Odd Fellowship; it is a private club to which only those who are Odd Fellows may belong. A brother who holds the third degree and is in good standing within his subordinate lodge (i.e. he has not been expelled or in arrears of dues, etc.) is eligible to make an application to join.

The brothers who belong to the AMOS, much like the Shriners, wear a red fez, but the tassel which hangs from the fez is of different colors depending on the degree attained or the office held. The seal of the AMOS is an owl sitting upon a pyramid. Above the owl are the words "WE NEVER SLEEP"; at the base of the pyramid is the word Xerxes, and below the pyramid is the Arabian sword called a scimitar. The word Xerxes alludes to the password of the first degree of the AMOS.

The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) Degrees
  1. Humility (or Samaritan) [Red fez with a yellow tassel]
  2. Perfection (or Sheik) [Red fez with a red tassel]

Grand United Order of Odd Fellows

The American Grand United Order of Odd Fellows[32] is a fraternal organization founded in 1843 for black members.[64] Created at a time when the IOOF was primarily a white-only organization, the GUOOF obtained its charter directly from Manchester in Great Britain and the American IOOF organization had no control over it. Although still in existence, membership in the US has declined, due to the mainstream IOOF no longer being segregated and the decline in fraternal membership in general.

Notable members of the IOOF

"Odd Fellowship, unlike many other organizations, makes no special effort to attract 'name' members. Ours is a warm, personal type of affiliation that doesn't rely on 'rubbing elbows' with the famous to give us satisfaction."[40] Below are some of the notable men and women who were members of the fraternity:

Wyatt Earp's IOOF membership card, 1909

Architectural impact

Although in Britain the Odd Fellows tended to meet in pubs, in the US the lodges often built their own facilities. Many of these are now on the US National Register of Historic Places:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "IOOF background from homepage". http://www.ioof.org/. Retrieved 2008-05-08. "In 17th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called "Odd Fellows". Odd Fellows are also known as "The Three Link Fraternity" - the three links contain the letters F, L and T, which stand for Friendship, Love and Truth.
    The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.
    Odd Fellowship became the first national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organizations to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children."
     
  2. ^ "Mutual benefit corporation", www.sec.state.vt.us
  3. ^ History, IOOF Grand Lodge of South Australia.
  4. ^ a b Most statements here can be found in Weinbren, D. (2010). "The Oddfellows: 200 years of making friends and helping people". United Kingdom: Carnegie Publishing
  5. ^ a b http://www.keyinvest.com.au/ioofsa/
  6. ^ : Historical Contributions and Achievements of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Louie Blake Sarmiento blog
  7. ^ IOOF brochure, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows & Rebekahs. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  8. ^ Activities, IOOF Philippines. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  9. ^ "The first Sunday of May each year has been designated for the Annual Odd Fellow Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Permission for this date has been granted by the Department of the Army, official custodian of Arlington National Cemetery. The first pilgrimage was in 1934 with the purpose of not only honoring the Unknown Soldier and the Nation’s war dead, but also, the members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows who made the supreme sacrifice during World War I. On this day each year, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs pay tribute and homage to fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country. A lone Army Sentinel guards the Tomb of the Unknown, day and night, the sentinel paces and guards. He stops pacing at the observance of the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs in the placing of wreaths at the Tombs. Each Unknown Soldier has been presented with the Grand Decoration of Chivalry, the highest decoration that can be bestowed on an Odd Fellow. These jewels are prominently displayed by the U.S. Army in the Hall of Trophies. On this same day, a wreath is also placed at the Canadian War Memorial in Arlington Cemetery. On the first Sunday in June, the ceremony is repeated at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada." http://ioofphilippines.yolasite.com/news.php
  10. ^ Frequently Asked Questions, "Odd Fellowship Is", ioof.org Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  11. ^ With over 12,000 lodges and nearly 600,000 members in more than 26 countries, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is one of the largest and strongest fraternal organizations in the world.
  12. ^ a b Müller, Stephanie (2008): The name Odd Fellows, from Concept and contents of Odd Fellowship, Chapter 4 of Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A scientific work in the field of cultural studies, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. ISBN 978-3-86821-093-4. Retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  13. ^ a b c Burkley M. Gray (n.d.) Fraternalism in America (1860 - 1920), Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum, www.phoenixmasonry.org. (See also Odd Fellow Service Jewels.)
  14. ^ History and Traditions, Manchester Unity (U.K.), www.oddfellows.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  15. ^ Oddfellows in Australia 100 years, p.5.
  16. ^ "What is Odd Fellowship" slideshow by Sovereign grand Lodge
  17. ^ Frequently Asked Questions, Manchester Unity, www.oddfellows.co.uk
  18. ^ The website of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Sweden mentions that historians believe there are records in Scotland which show its original form sometime in the 1500s. http://www.oddfellow.org/storlogen/historia.asp
  19. ^ The website of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Australia states that "The exact origin of the Odd Fellow fraternities is unknown. The earliest written record is in a public museum in Scotland and is a Charter granted to a “Society of Odd Fellows” under seal dated May 6, 1557."
  20. ^ Historian Greer[who?] claimed that Oddfellowship dates from sometime before 1650.
  21. ^ Birdely, G. "The origin, rise and progress of Oddfellowship. Manx Quarterly, 7, 1909.
  22. ^ a b History, Manchester Unity, www.oddfellows.org.uk
  23. ^ About the Odd Fellows Fraternity, ioofphilippines.yolasite.com
  24. ^ History, G.U.O.O.F.S Friendly Society
  25. ^ GUOOFS, Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society (U.K.), www.uk.guoofs.com
  26. ^ Oddfellows Magazine, Oct 1838, p.171
  27. ^ From a review of '"A Sermon, delivered in the Parish Church of Sheffield, to the Original United Order of Oddfellows", on Monday, July 9, 1798, by George Smith MA, curate of the said Church, and late of Trinity College, Cambridge' in Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1798, pp.785-6.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Mark A. Tabbert (2003) The Odd Fellows, Masonic Papers, first published Dec. 2003, "The Northern Light", Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA.
  29. ^ "The Oddfellows", (Manchester Unity), were established in 1810 and celebrated their bi-centenerary in 2010.
  30. ^ History of Odd Fellowship, www.caioof.org
  31. ^ Volume four, p. 150, Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, ISBN 0-9693422-1-7.
  32. ^ a b GUOOF, (Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, USA), www.guoof.com[dead link]
  33. ^ Barry, Dan (August 26, 2007). "A Grand Gathering, but One With a Solemn Note". New York Times. "As with most matters of Odd Fellowship, nearly every aspect of the annual convention of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows must adhere to protocol. The dais for the officers’ banquet, for example, must be two-tiered and able to accommodate 50 people, important on the bottom, really important on the top. Seats for the sovereign grand master, the deputy sovereign grand master, the sovereign grand warden, the sovereign grand secretary and the sovereign grand treasurer. Seats for the leaders of the two uniformed branches, the Patriarchs Militant and its Ladies Auxiliaries. A seat for the president of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies, established when the Odd Fellows long ago recognized “the need for a woman’s touch.”" 
  34. ^ Patriarchs Militant & Ladies Auxiliary Association: "The Patriarchs Militant are the uniformed branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), one of the oldest and largest fraternal orders in the world today. The Patriarchs Militant were established by the Sovereign Grand Lodge - the international governing body of Odd Fellowship - back in 1886."
  35. ^ PM Park, Clear Lake, Iowa contains a section summarizing the history of IOOF children's summer holiday camps established by the Patriarchs Militant.
  36. ^ a b Müller, Stephanie (2008): History of the Odd Fellows, from Concept and contents of Odd Fellowship, Chapter 2 of Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A scientific work in the field of cultural studies, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. ISBN 978-3-86821-093-4. Retrieved on 2009-10-14.
  37. ^ History of the IOOF in Marin County. Illustrates the spread of Oddfellowship in California in the 19th century. Also contains a section titled: Background, History, Ritual and Emblems.
  38. ^ The Morals of Odd-fellowship : a Discourse. Reproduction of the 1853 publication from the Grand Lodge of Northern New York. Demonstrates the influence of the Odd Fellows in the mid 19th century.
  39. ^ IOOF History, Grand Lodge of Belgium and the Netherlands. www.stichtingargus.nl (in English).
    Note: Some of the "facts" quoted are inaccurate, and there are no supporting references, so the reliability of this source is unknown.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h Grand Lodge of California, IOOF (n.d.) A brief sketch of Odd Fellowship, RealStockCertificates.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-18
  41. ^ IOOF International Network, IOOF Grand Lodge of South Australia, www.keyinvest.com.au/ioofsa
  42. ^ Geschichte des Ordens (About the Order), Deutscher Odd Fellow-Orden (German Orders of Odd Fellows)]
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k IOOF News, Volume 12, Issue 2, March–April 2009, pg.1 Editor: Richard G. ‘Dick’ Proulx, Publisher: The Sovereign Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F., Winston-Salem, NC, U.S.A. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  44. ^ A lodge was instituted in Nigeria 2008, and a lodge was instituted in the Philippines on November 21, 2009, making a total of 29 countries with lodges.
  45. ^ a b c d "Jurisdictions". http://www.ioof.org. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: The Sovereign Grand Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 2010. http://www.ioof.org/jurisdictions.html. Retrieved 2006-06-28. 
  46. ^ a b c "World portal Grand Lodges I.O.O.F.". http://www.oddfellows.nl. Grootloge voor Nederland en België (Grand Lodge of The Netherlands and Belgium). http://portal.oddfellows.nl/linklist.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  47. ^ a b c "International Jurisdictional Websites". http://ioofbc.org. Esquimalt, British Columbia: IOOF Grand Lodge of British Columbia. 2010-05-29. http://ioofbc.org/international.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  48. ^ a b There are no Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodges in the United Kingdom under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge of the IOOF. The IOOF in United Kingdom is under the mother chapter, Manchester Unity IOOF. The British lodges are listed on the Odd Fellows page; none of the references to "Independent" Orders in the UK are to lodges in the jurisdiction of the U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge. The U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge's web site makes no mention of the United Kingdom on its jurisdiction pages.
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Note: Grand Lodges marked '*' do not (yet) appear on the Sovereign Grand Lodge "Jurisdictions" web page.
  50. ^ IOOF in Nigeria. There are four Odd Fellows lodges in Nigeria.
  51. ^ Republic of the Philippines Watchdog Lodge no.1 is a subordinate lodge, not a Grand Lodge. There are currently (Sept 2010) 2 regular lodges in the Philippines and some interest groups soon to be lodges - refer to http://ioofmindanaonlodge.webs.com
  52. ^ BORIKEN #1 LODGE of PUERTO RICO is a subordinate lodge, not a Grand Lodge.
  53. ^ IOOF Chile, www.ioofchile.cl
  54. ^ Membership Manual of Odd Fellowship
  55. ^ In the past year, there were no telephones and communication was very slow, it was through these passwords and handshakes and symbols can one member from another lodge prove his membership to the lodge he is visiting and may be qualified to ask for any financial assistance
  56. ^ The term subordinate lodge is no longer used and it is just lodge according the Code of General Laws of the Sovereign Grand Lodge
  57. ^ In Australia, the system of lodges, officers, positions and degrees has been implemented in a similar but slightly different manner. For example, this page describes the systems used in the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge of South Australia, and the Grand Lodge of Australasia.
  58. ^ The Subordinate Lodge is Odd Fellowship's equivalent of the Free Mason's Blue / Symbolic Lodge. (Refer Tabbert (2003))
  59. ^ a b Greer, J.M. (1998). Inside a magical lodge: group ritual in western the tradition. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
  60. ^ The Encampment is the Odd Fellows' equivalent to Freemasonry's "Scottish Rite", as they both offer the most degrees outside the Subordinate Lodge. Unlike Freemasonry, where one can choose either the Scottish or York Rite branches, in Odd Fellowship one must go through the Encampment first before seeking entrance into the highest branch, the Patriarchs Militant. (Refer Tabbert (2003))
  61. ^ The Patriarchs Militant (PM) is Odd Fellowship's uniformed branch, and is the equivalent of Freemasonry's "York Rite". (Refer Tabbert (2003))
  62. ^ Every year, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs go to Washington, DC, and Canada to bestow honor to soldiers who died in war. In Cuba, Patriarchs Militants or Canton march and conduct ceremonies to honor their founding anniversary, independence and their national hero.
  63. ^ The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) is the Odd Fellows' equivalent of Freemasonry's Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners). (Refer Tabbert (2003))
  64. ^ Black Fraternal Orders at nathanielturner.com. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  65. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Vermont, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  66. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Alabama, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  67. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Maine, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  68. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Michigan, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  69. ^ References are in the Bruner article.
  70. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephanie Müller (2008): Famous Odd Fellows, Chapter 5 of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. Retrieved on 2009-09-18.
  71. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from North Carolina, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  72. ^ Edwin Chapin, The Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, www25.uua.org
  73. ^ a b Gabe Meline (2009)The New Fraternals, www.metroactive.com
  74. ^ "Death Takes Ex-Councilman Christensen, 84," February 11, 1954, page 26 Library card required
  75. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from New York, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  76. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from West Virginia, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  77. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Maryland, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
  78. ^ Odd Fellow politicians from Indiana, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  79. ^ Anson Jones, Pp.311-312 in William R. Denslow, Harry S. Truman (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons from A to J Part One, Kessinger Publishing's Rare Reprints, 2004, ISBN 1417975784, ISBN 9781417975785 Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  80. ^ Rice, William Marsh in The Handbook of Texas History Online, Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved: 2009-09-09.
  81. ^ Madelein B Stern (1971). Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Pgs. 433-434 in Notable American women, 1607-1950: a biographical dictionary, Volume 3, Eds. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer, Harvard University Press, 1971, ISBN 0674627342, ISBN 9780674627345.
  82. ^ Ken Knott (n.d.) Major General Albert Winn, California State Military Museum.Retrieved on 2009-09-18.

Further reading

  • Ross, Theodore (2003): History and Manual of Odd Fellowship. Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0766145573
  • Smith, Don and Roberts, Wayne (1993): The Three Link Fraternity – Odd Fellowship in California. Linden: Linden Publications.
  • Coursey, Oscar William. History and Geography of the Philippine Islands. 1903. ISBN 1151701122

External links


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