Uploaded on Nov 20, 2010
The Odd Fellows, also known as The Three Link Fraternity, is one of the oldest and largest non-political and non-sectarian fraternal and service-oriented organization in the world. It was established because the world was very different back then. The things we take for granted now were almost non-existent like healthcare, orphanages, educational systems, care for the elderly and for the impoverished. Even though we have come a long way now, more needs to be done to see that everyone everywhere is treated with care, kindness, and dignity. Working together to achieve these goals and help our fellow men creates a bond that cannot be described. A brotherhood and sisterhood of benevolence that can only be felt as an active participant. Working together, we really can make a difference!
There are many theories about how it first started and got its name but the generally accepted belief is that it emerged in England when a group of working class men who fell outside the established system of trade guilds banded together to form their own labor association. At the time of industrialization in England, 'Fellows' from various 'Odd' trades gathered together and formed a fraternity to protect and care for their members and communities at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions and National Health Insurance. They would work together to help each other and the unfortunate families back on their feet, whether it was rebuilding a barn that had burned, or putting in a new crop after a devastating season. Such helpers came to be known as "odd fellows," so named by the general population who thought they were "an odd bunch of fellows" who would behave in such a selfless and seemingly impractical fashion. This group then adopted the name.
By year 1700's, there were a number of Odd Fellows organization in England. In 1810, various Odd Fellows lodges of the London Union Order in Manchester organized an "Independent Order of Oddfellows" with the title "Manchester Unity". With their improved system they were able to persuade other Odd Fellow Lodges to join their unity. They also chartered the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in America years after.
While several Odd Fellow lodges had existed in New York City before, because of the charter relationship, American Odd Fellowship (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) is regarded as being founded in Baltimore, Maryland at the Seven Stars Tavern on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey and some associates who were members of the fraternity in England.
On September 20, 1851, I.O.O.F became the first fraternity to accept both men and women when it formed the Daughters of Rebekah. Brother Schuyler Colfax, (Vice President of the US from 1869-1873), was the force behind the movement.
During the 'Golden Age of fraternalism', the Odd Fellows was the largest fraternal and service organization in the world. The world Almanac showed that it had over 3.4 Million active members in 1915. Although non-political and non-sectarian, it also claimed many notable members which included six U.S. Presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Warren Harding, as well as many Senators, Governors and community leaders. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female American Dentist, was also identified as member.
It continues to exist up until today with about 10, 000 lodges in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Internationally, it is involved in various charitable causes such as their Educational Foundation which gives scholarships annually, Arthritis Foundation, Visual Eye Research Foundation at Wilmer Eye Institute, Living Legacy program which planted more than 8 Million trees already, the United Nations Pilgrimage of the Youth which sponsors High School students on a one-week trip to the United Nations, the S.O.S. Children's Village which houses orphans and aids victims in Cambodia, etc.
Find a lodge and Join! If you can't find a lodge close to you contact me and we'll help you START a lodge! The benefits outweigh the work, and the work is rewarded by helping your fellowmen!
International website: www.ioof.org
International e-mail: iooftheSGL@bellsouth.net
A project of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the Philippines
Narrator: Brother Mike Walker of Black Sky radio
Editor & Producer: Brother Louie Blake Sarmiento of Odd Fellows Philippines
Pedro P. Dollar:.
Por Cuba, con Dios y la Masoneria
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