Freemasonry & Oddfellowship

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by R. Jacques Johnson, May 20, 2016.

  1. R. Jacques Johnson

    R. Jacques Johnson Registered User

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    I belong to both organizations and have been told that in the past these two great institutions worked together on various endeavors. However, I don't see much interaction between them now except that there are a few brother in my Oddfellows hall that are Freemasons. Is orange the new black? I know that the Grand Lodge building for the MWPHGL of La was built and utilized by the GUOOF before it was sold to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge. Since my move to Illinois I will have to find the closest Oddfellows Lodge to demit to. Once I get the lay of the land I may introduce this at Grand Lodge session to see if the Grand Master is interested in doing some joint ventures.
    Can you share any experience you have with this in your State, Jurisdiction or Country please so that I can chart my course of action?
     
  2. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I uave a question for you....why did you join both? What did you find in the second org you joined you werent getting in the first?(not sure if u joined IOOF or FM first)

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  3. R. Jacques Johnson

    R. Jacques Johnson Registered User

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    Valid question, I guess perhaps I never looked at it from that perspective. I never joined a fraternity for what I could find or what I was going to get from it. I joined the Masonic lodge first. I am the 3rd generation of 4 to join the lodge in my family, to my knowledge. I never knew if my great grandfather was a mason or not. I joined the Oddfellows because I came across one of their rituals that was mistakenly sent to me in a batch of books that I purchased on eBay from an estate sale. After reading the ritual I must admit I researched them for about 4 years before I joined. Finally, I moved to an area that had a lodge that would accept me. When I was living in Tennessee the IOOF would not accept my petition. There was that whole pesky skin color thing that they could not get past. However, when I moved to Louisiana the GOOUF lodge actually met inside of our Grand Lodge building so after speaking with several of the brothers and participating in some of their fundraising activities I joined.
    I love Freemasonry, I fell in love with the Oddfellows and I enjoy giving to both organizations. I have not held or desired to hold any office yet in the Oddfellows. However, when I retire and have more time I plan to do more in that regards. I just wonder why the two organizations are not assisting each other any more. Was there something that happened to change relations? Did the Oddfellows decline in membership have something to do with the split?
     
  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Most of the joint events I've read about were social events during the high population era. Often because both lodges met in the same building and everyone just showed up to both. Very much correlated with the decline in membership.
     
  5. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Ok, i just ask cause ive been interested in the oddfellows for awhile untill i found out they have the rebekahs but also allow women. And arent they very similarly structured to FM? Doesnt their rituals heavily borrow from ours?

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  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I would bet on it- hardly any IOOF Lodges(?) still open around here.
     
  7. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Did they do their work from memory ?

    I notice you are also an Elk.....

    Not much IOOF or IOOFMU action any more here in Melbourne Australia,... that said, the Odd Fellows (not sure which type) have a building close by my niece hired for her 21st. Exploring I found a ritual book, but left it be out of respect.
     
  8. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Very interesting topic, gonna stay tuned to this one.
     
  10. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    There is a bit of history there, International Order of Odd Fellows vrs International Order of Odd Fellows Manchester Unity.

    I got this from Wikipedia

    The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a religiously and politically independent fraternal order of odd fellows founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It was originally chartered by Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity but independent since 1842.[3] The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order's "Triple Links" symbol, alluding on its motto "Friendship, Love and Truth".[3]

    While several unofficial Odd Fellows lodges had existed in New York City circa 1806-1818,[4] because of the charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded with Washington Lodge No 1 in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern[5] on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey along with some associates[3] who assembled in response to an advertisement in the New Republic. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges. Previously, Wildey had joined the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (179:cool: in 1804 but followed through with the split of Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity (1810-) before emigrated to the United States in 1817.

    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.[6]


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    American separation

    The Oddfellows had spread to America in the late 18th century, and several unofficial lodges existed in New York City; but American Odd Fellowship is regarded as being founded in Baltimore in 1819, by Thomas Wildey, and the following year affiliated with the Manchester Unity.[5][6]

    In Britain in 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were unexpectedly convicted and transported for "membership of an illegal friendly society". The Oddfellows "board of directors" hastily modified the "constitution" to evade a similar fate.[5][6]

    Members of the Oddfellows in the United States were not pleased to see the ancient rituals changed without their agreement, particularly to satisfy a British Government against which they had fought a war of independence. As a result, the Oddfellows in America declared their independence from the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows and became a self-governing Order – the Independent Order of Odd Fellows – which established lodges across the world (and continues to this day)


    The above come from their respective wikipedia articles

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Oddfellows_Manchester_Unity#American_separation
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Odd_Fellows

    Wiki also gives this timeline

    • 1748: Earliest surviving records of an oddfellows lodge is the manuscript of the rules, dated 1748, of the Loyal Aristarcus Lodge No.9 which met in the Oakley Arms in Southwark, the Globe Tavern in Hatton Garden and the Boar's Head in Smithfield, London.[40][15]
    • mid-18th century: Order of Patriotic Oddfellows[5]
    • mid-18th century: Ancient Order of Oddfellows[5]
    • 1798: Grand United Order of Oddfellows[c][d]
    • 1810: The Independent Order – Manchester Unity[e]
    • 1810: Nottingham Ancient Imperial Order of Oddfellows[41]
    • 1820: Improved Independent Order of Oddfellows (South London)[41]
    • 1827: Caledonian Lodge of Oddfellows,[42][43] based in Newburgh fife, is the only lodge of oddfellows left in Scotland
    • 1832: Ancient and Noble (Bolton Unity) split from the Grand United Order in 1832, dissolved in 1962[citation needed]
    • 1832: Ancient National Order of Oddfellows (Bolton)[41]
    • 1832: Nottingham Odd Fellows, split from the Manchester Unity in 1832.[citation needed]
    • 1834: Leeds United Order of Oddfellows[41]
    • 1840: Independent Order of Oddfellows (Kingston)[41]
    • 1845: National Independent Order of Oddfellows[41]
    • 1849: Independent Order of Oddfellows (Norfolk & Norwich Unity)[41]
    • 1850: Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society[e]
    • 1853: Improved Independent Order of Oddfellows (London)[41]
    • 1858: Free and Independent Order of Oddfellows[41]
    • 1861: Ancient Independent Order of Oddfellows (Kent)[41]
    • 1867: British United Order of Oddfellows[41]
    • 1883: Scottish Order of Oddfellows[42][44]
    • 1900: National Independent Order of Oddfellows[44][45]
    • 1910: Caledonian Order of United Oddfellows


    I remember, IOOFMU really focused on being a friendly society, partly because of political problems in the UK around anti-union and revolution acts banning secret meetings -Freemasonry got caught up in that a well. Here today, we have "IOOF LTD" which is a high financial services firm listed on the stock exchange - but it is actually IOOFMU which gave its birth.

    At some point IOOFMU lost its focus on ritual, and it really damaged that side of things... I remember reading about this years ago, because it was a really important Fraternity here in Melbourne, leaving a big landmark in our city - check it out
    http://www.manchesterunitybuilding.com.au/manchester-unity-building-history.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Unity_Building

    Here, they seem to swap the a name to MUIOOF- but don;t know why and if it is significant..
     
  11. R. Jacques Johnson

    R. Jacques Johnson Registered User

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    My Oddfellows hall is different from IOOF. We do not have Rebekah's we have House Hold of Ruth for the women. We do not allow women in our Oddfellows lodge as members. I am also a member of HHoR, I was told that was part of the succession of degrees for the GUOOF when I was moving up in degrees. I have to admit, that I am not very active with the HHoR. I can't wait to visit England because there are so many structures that I want to tour and examine.
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Thanks for the reply :)
     
  13. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Is there intervisitation between the two OF groups?

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  14. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    That's the question that everyone asks regarding relations when it comes to two organizations that are the same. When I was active in the IBPOEW it shocked me that I could not sit in an BPOE lodge.
     
  15. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I had no idea there was a "black" elks. But the quick research injust did itnmakes sense that there isnt intervisitation between the 2. It seems the "improved" elks kinds just straight ripped off the elks and just sprung up....unlike prince hall who came from a legitimate lodge and was forced to branch away.

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  16. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Lol. Well Blacks weren't allowed to join the BPOE, A black gentleman working as a Pullman Porter on a train found one of their rituals. Long story short, it made its way to court and the IBPOEW received copy rights to the ritual since the BPOE hadn't copy righted it.
     
  17. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I read that a judge found in favor of bpoe on the name "elks" but it was basically ignored. I know pretty close to nothing about the elks so please correct me if im wrong

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  18. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    If that is true, then that's not what I was taught or learned while studying the history of the IBPOEW. I will state, if what you said is true, why would the judge grant them the copy rights. In my opinion the judge being in favor of the BPOE would result in a denial of copy rights.
     
  19. Cootr68

    Cootr68 Registered User

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    The secretary of my plural lodge was the head of the odd fellows and a gentleman in the town I live in is the secretary. I have discussed OF with them and they say that the OF is in worse shape than Masonry by far.
     
  20. R. Jacques Johnson

    R. Jacques Johnson Registered User

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    I don't know how the discussion became about the BPOE and the IBPOEW but here is my 2 cents. They don't internist or recognize each other because they are two different civic organizations. They are not like the Freemason's because they have one leader, the Grand Exalted Ruler who governs each state. Although there are separate State associations they are not independent from the rulings of the Grand Exalted Ruler.

    Personally, I didn't seek the recognition of the BPOE when I joined and I am not seeking it now. How the IBPOEW was formed will always be questioned. If Donald Trump spent 2 years disputing a birth certificate from Hawaii for President Barack Obama why would I think that there would not have been a dispute over 100 years ago when they saw that African American's had formed the first Elk lodge that admits all men including men of color?

    Discrimination as ugly as it may appear is still the right of every American to have. I served in the military and fought for each and every American to have that same freedoms. So, it would be hypocritical for me to say that racism or discrimination is right or wrong. I will only say that I do not desire to affiliate anywhere that I am not welcomed due to something that I have no control over. If you are going to deny me let it be over something that I did.

    It doesn't matter to some people whether I am legitimate or not, recognized or not as long as they live they will not sit in a lodge with me. I am fine with their choice but unlike some people I do not pray for them to suffer or have a horrible existence. I pray that I never let down those people that accept me and call me their brother. I am from the town where the KKK originated and a few years ago we had our first caucasian member petition our Elks lodge. His petition was accepted and he became the first caucasian Elk in my lodge. I asked him why he joined us instead of the Elks of the USA that is in the same town. His reply was they would not accept you but y'all would accept me. He said that he did not want to be a part of something that would discriminate against anyone. The IBPOEW accepts people of all races. I hope that he is not the last one to join us because we love him not because he is white but because he is a good man.
     
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