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Unity Lodge No. 4, Vancouver, Odd Fellows
Odd Fellows
In an effort to prove its antiquety, there are those who would claim its introduction into Great Britain in A.D. 98. 'In fact, its descent is traced - unfortunately without historical corroboration - from a secret society existing among the captive Israelites in Babylon. '
In the year 79 there was a group of captives in Rome, having traditions, secret associations and signs, who repeatedly proved their fidelity to the Emperor and who were named Fellow Citizens and Odd Fellows. They formed themselves into a military legion and became part of the Roman hosts that invaded Britain.... From that time forward there is nothing of an authentic character to trace the Order down to the period in which the name 'Odd Fellows' again appears in British history.
The leaders of Odd Fellowship of the present century have not been much concerned about the antiquety of the Order, their aim being to adapt the society to the needs of modern times and conditions. The history of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for which there exists authentic records, dates back two centuries. An excerpt from the minutes of Aristarchus Lodge No. 9, of March 12th, 1748, establishes the fact that this lodge had been operating for some time prior thereto, and its number indicates that at least eight other lodges had existed up to that time. (p.6)
It is now and shall always remain the fundamental creed of the Order that we believe in a Supreme Being, the creator and preserver of the universe. The Order is, and shall forever continue to be, bound to charitable and beneficent works, in visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, burying the dead, and educating the orphan, and in the performance of all those reciprocal duties and benevolences which spring from our recognition of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, and from the inculcation and practice of Friendship, Love and Truth. (p. 16)
Odd Fellowship, this Brotherhood, is a social compact by which each to the other pledges himself to interchangeable duty and interchangeable service - a service not of compulsion, but of love — service not only to an Odd Fellow, but to God, to country, to every man who suffers, who needs the material or moral aid of other men — and the entire world is the field of endeavor... (p. 29)

Joseph Powley. Concise History of Odd Fellowship. Published by the Author, Macoomb Publishing Co. Ltd.: Toronto. 1952
Further information
Mark C. Carnes. Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America.
Odd Fellows Lodge No. 134 membership certificate.
Misuse of the Odd Fellows emblem.
American Founder, Thomas Wildey. Frontispiece: The Jericho Road by Thomas G. Andrews, Oklahoma City: 1937.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows
The Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization that bears many similarities to the Freemasons. The first American lodge, Washington Lodge No. 1, was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819.
In the first half of the nineteenth century in the United States the Odd Fellows were influenced by the temperance movement and forbade drinking.
For a few years in the third quarter of the nineteenth century the Odd Fellows membership was larger than masonic membership, but membership has fallen quickly throughout the twentieth century.
The Sovereign Grand Lodge of North America of Odd Fellows is currently located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


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