Monday, 31 January 2011

Odd Fellows support police officer riding in Pan Mass Challenge

By Special to the Record
Posted Jan 31, 2011 @ 09:09 AM

Officer Derek Jones accepts a $650 donation from the Odd Fellows
of the North Shore to support his ride in the 2011 Pan Mass Challenge.
Lleft to right, Georgetown Police Chief James Mulligan;
Officer Derek Jones; Julia Jones; Members of the Odd Fellows
of the North Shore: Bro. Edward J. Carroll, PGM; Noble Grand Francis
E. Gayton, PGW; Bro. Charles Teague, Jr., PDDGM;
Bro. Clayton L. Dearth; and Detective Supervisor Thomas DeJoy.
On Dec. 11, 2010, members of the Newburyport Odd Fellows of the North Shore came to the Georgetown Police Department to show their support for Officer Derek Jones, who rides in the Dana Farber Pan Mass Challenge every year. The Odd Fellows presented Officer Jones and his daughter Julia, a cancer survivor, with a check for $650 to support his ride to find a cure for cancer.
“The Odd Fellows of the North Shore are great supporters of the Georgetown Police Department and its members,” said Georgetown Police Chief James Mulligan. “They haveg made several donations in the past to the department and its members for equipment and to support a member’s charity. We want to thank them for their generosity.”

Eastern Arizona Odd Fellows gives away 251 bicycles

By Diane Saunders
Staff Writer
Published on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 9:32 AM MST

The Oddfellows parking lot was transformed
 into a sea of bicycles for the club's annual
Christmas party for children.
The parking lot of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was transformed into a sea of bicycles given away recently to 251 lucky children. Every year the Odd Fellows gives away refurbished bicycles to Gila Valley children a few days before Christmas.

Chuck Trammell, coordinator for the bicycle giveaway, said the Oddfellows collect donated bicycles throughout the year and take them to the Arizona State Prison-Safford. 

"We go all over to get them," Trammell said.

Prison inmates clean and lubricate bearings, reupholster seats and paint the bikes — making them look like new. As the bikes are refurbished they are placed in donated storage facilities for safekeeping until the Christmas season.

At the annual Oddfellows Christmas party for children, each child is given a ticket with a number. As the numbers are drawn, children holding tickets with corresponding numbers select bicycles.

Trammell said next year the Oddfellows would like to give away more bicycles.

"We're really hoping for 300 next year," he said

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

How Fraternities started in the Philippines?

How Fraternities started in the Philippines?
By Louie Blake S. Sarmiento, Organizational Psychology

In all times and among all nations which have reached a sufficient level of cultural development, there have always been fraternal associations formed for higher purposes. The development of Fraternities can be traced from trade unions or guilds that emerged in England. These guilds were set up to protect and care for their members at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions or National Health Service. Various secret signs and handshakes were created to serve as proof of their membership allowing them to visit guilds in distant places that are associated with the guild they belong.

However, many of these Guilds were suppressed in the 16th Century. In major cities such as in London, some Guilds survived by adapting their roles to a social support function. Some of these groups evolved in the 1700’s into more philosophical organizations focused on brotherly love, charity and ethical living now known as a Fraternal Order or simply, a‘Fraternity’.

By the late 1700’s to early 1800’s, many of these Fraternal Order’s were transported to America by English immigrants. At that time, these groups served important social, philosophical and insurance purposes. Later, the concept of brotherhood was established in colleges. The first among these are the Flat Hat Club (1750) and P.D.A. Society (1773) focused on literary and scholarship. The oldest Greek-named fraternity is Phi Beta Kappa founded on December 5, 1776 but this fraternity do not have any chapter in the Philippines and also converted into an honor society rather than a social fraternity. By the mid-1800's, fraternal organizations flourished in America and established lodges (chapters) in different parts of the world.

In the Philippines, Spaniards and other colonizers established several Philosophical and Fraternal Societies in our country as early as 1850'sbut these chapters only admitted Spaniards or their own race and did not welcome the natives (Filipinos). In the book, History and Geography of the Philippine Islands (1908), author O.W. Coursey stated:
The awakening of the Filipinos to a deep sense of injustice being practiced upon them by the colonizers was the introduction of 'fraternal' societies in the Islands, and to the influence of higher education obtained by those of means to schools of Hong-Kong and other old-world countries.”
The book mentioned that the Fraternity of Odd Fellows spread in the Philippines in 1872. The Freemason fraternity followed in 1877 brought by the Americans. The lodges (chapters) are also established mostly by military men assigned in Manila. Most members were basically American Military men and their allies who helped fought the Spanish-American war. The fraternity established their lodges (chapters) and held their meetings in naval and military base camps.

The first brotherhood to be founded by Filipinos is the Katipunan, short for Kataastaasang Kagalangalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the People), which was founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892. The primary aim of the fraternity was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. As many of us know, the brotherhood already disbanded.

In 1899, the ties between Filipino and Americans was disrupted and the Filipino-American war emerged. When this war ended in 1902, fraternities started to rise again. Odd Fellows, Freemasons and even the Elks established lodges in Manila area.
Later, college fraternities began to form especially when American Education (philosophy) reached our shores. State Universities were the first to enjoy Fraternity Life, particularly in the University of the Philippines, when the first College Fraternity Rizal Center, a brotherhood of Jose Rizal followers and who viewed the hero in iconic fashion, was founded (This fraternity is already defunct). The first Filipino Greek Letter Fraternity, Upsilon Sigma Phi, was founded in 1918. This fraternity is now considered the oldest in Asia and continues to exist up until today but membership is exclusive only to UP Dilliman and UP Los Banos students. The oldest sorority in the Philippines is the UP Sigma Beta Sorority founded on February 14, 1932. Membership is exclusive only to UP Dilliman, UP Los Banos, UP Iloilo and UP Davao students.

The progress of fraternities was again interrupted when Japan occupied the Philippines in 1941. When the Filipino-American-Japanese war ended in 1944, Philippine fraternities started to rise up again and many Filipinos started setting up their own fraternities and sororities.

The peak of fraternalism in the Philippines was probably in the 1950's to 1990's when many fraternities where founded. Several American fraternities were also imported to the country such as the Alpha Phi Omega. Also, some locally founded fraternities made allies with some fraternities in the United States. Afterwards, the rest is history...

Note: Above are based on educational research and do not represent as a personal stand of the researcher.


Major O.W. Coursey, U.S. Volunteer, author of the History and Geography of the Philippine Islands 

UP Sigma Beta Sorority:

Upsilon Sigma Phi:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

ODD FELLOWS AND FREEMASONS: Dispelling myths and misconceptions

by Louie Blake S. Sarmiento
Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Juris Doctor - III

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
- Maya Angelou
The Odd Fellows in Sweden have over 40,000 members.
In my efforts to educate people about the Odd Fellows years ago, I have met some degrees of opposition by some people who are either over-enthusiastic about Freemasonry or are misinformed about Odd Fellowship. I have been called a liar because I do not agree with their claims that the ‘Odd Fellows is a copy of Freemasonry’, ‘a brotherhood for Poor men’, ‘a dead fraternity’ and that ‘joining Odd Fellows is very easy’. Almost five years ago, about 3 members of the Masonic Order misinformed other people regarding our fraternity. I am not an expert on Odd Fellowship, but as a member, I have tried my best to explain to avoid other people from following unsubstantiated claims about our beloved Fraternal Order. Take note that I am not against Freemasonry because my father is actually a very active member of a Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite and the Shriners. My mother and older sister, on the other hand, are members of the Order of Eastern Star. My younger brother and I held membership in the Order of DeMolay, I was Past Senior Councilor and Acting Master Councilor for sometime while my younger is a Past Master Councilor of the chapter. I joined the Odd Fellows not to compete with Freemasonry but because I am fond of its benevolent character and I am into preserving ancient fraternities as well as studying their principles. 

As a member of the Order of Odd Fellows, it is probably my right to properly inform the misinformed. There had been many accusations that it even reached to a point that they tried to destroy my reputation and tried to discredit my character. Since 2009, I have traveled across the United States and Canada in search for knowledge about fraternal orders. I studied and read over 1,000 books and journals on the Odd Fellows, Freemasons and various other Fraternal Orders. As of 2015, I also have in my possession a wide collection of initiation rituals of various fraternities  dating back the 18th and 19th Centuries. Today, I have my own little library of books about fraternities and ritualism. Here are my findings:

1. Odd Fellows is not a copy of Freemasonry
The Fraternity of Parish Clerks dates back in 1274
and they still exist in London today. Shown in photo
is a Past Master of the Fraternity in his
regalia and livery gown. 
Fraternal orders did not originate from Freemasonry as usually claimed by over-enthusiastic members but their roots can be traced from the traditions of the craft guilds in England. Sad to say, many over-enthusiastic Freemasons usually have this false misconception that the Freemasons is the oldest fraternity in the world. But contrary to this popular misconception, historical records and scholarly studies prove that it was not only the Masons who protected their trade secrets from others. Prior to the 1700's, there were already hundreds of craft fraternities in existence in England, some are even older than the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows. The Fraternity of Cooks, for example, existed in London as early as 1170. Thereafter until 1438, there is references to the "Masters of the Mysteries" of the Cooks, Pastelers and Piebakers. "Mysteries" suggest that they have mystical initiation rites related to their trade.  The Fraternity of Stainers dates back from 1268. The Fraternity of Gardeners, which evolved into the Ancient Order of Free Gardeners, dates back in 1345. They have charters in London dated 1605 and 1659. Almost all of these fraternities mentioned have a "Master" as head along with a "Warden" and "Tyler".

When Queen Elizabeth passed the Statute of Apprentices which took the responsibility of apprenticeship away from the guilds, many of these organizations evolved into secular fraternal orders or clubs which opened its membership to people regardless of their trade while others remain exclusive to those belonging to a particular trade. Both Freemasonry and Odd Fellowship trace their roots from the craft guild system in England. To learn more about the roots of fraternal orders, click link: Early Roots of Fraternal Orders prior to the 1700's.

It is from the same lineage of the craft guilds system where many similarities among various English fraternal orders can be traced. But while the Odd Fellows and Freemasons may have some similarities, it cannot be denied that there are also huge differences. There is no single author who had given enough evidence to prove that Odd Fellowship is a copy of Freemasonry. Frankly, many of these claims were written by Freemasons themselves at a time when both Fraternal Orders were competitors in terms of membership. Such claims were written in the early-1800's which is at least 50 years after the first Lodges of Odd Fellows were known to exist in England and the United States. Everything is theory and speculation  and until now, the so called 'evidences' seem to lack weight and has been called into question by several authors. Within Freemasonry alone, members debate and disagree with each other as to where Freemasonry really originated. Even well-known radical writer, journalist and Freemason member Dr. Bob James stated:
“Moffrey (1910), among many others has claimed that the Odd Fellows' were 'founded in imitation of Freemasonry. There is no evidence for this claim, which I address further below.”
It seems to me that any borrowing at all is unlikely, but that, if it occurred, it would be of what Freemasonry had given up of pre-1717 custom, not what Freemasonry 'created.' We will see that Freemason rites themselves were far from stable or uniform across the United Kingdom until well into the 19thcentury, making even the idea of borrowing very problematic.”

Let us take note that even if Freemasonry was first formally established in 1717 as the Grand Lodge of England, it was only in 1813 when the 2 factions, Antients and Moderns, formed the current United Grand Lodge of England which made the Grand Lodge of England of the 1717 defunct. Just like Freemasonry, Odd Fellowship also underwent factions such as Patriotics and Ancients which formed a partial amalgamation as the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in 1789. From this, Odd Fellowship underwent another faction when the Manchester Unity of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows voted their own Grand Lodge officers in 1814. This suggests that both Freemasonry and Odd Fellows were struggling during the 1700's. It was only in the early 1800's when both groups attained some organizational stability.

As it happens, apart from that single phrase and what I've already described as basic 'lodge' essentials, what we have for Odd Fellows’ ritual does not resemble known Stonemason's ritual.”

“The 'Most Noble Grand' here is very curious, as it is not a 'modern' Freemason title, but 'Noble Grand' is used by Odd Fellows. Freemason authors assert it derives from the Bucks. Dermott is not necessarily any more objective than anyone else here presupposing that the Freemasonry was the first with the terms 'lodge' and 'Grand Master'. He seems to have been very early in the queue of authors assuming that any society using the same or similar words to that Freemasonry used must be copying Freemasonry.”

“Spry, a key 19th century example, thought it obvious because of common symbolism and the use of an oath and a degree structure. Such claims reflect the ignorance engendered by the lack of research. It should not be necessary to point out that Freemasonry was, and is, in exactly the same position as those other societies - after nearly 300 years it cannot yet explain from where it 'borrowed' its rites, symbols, etc, or when it did so."

Claims that Odd Fellows is  copy of Freemasonry began in the 1840's. In 1844, a Committee composed members of both Freemasons and Odd Fellows - Chapin, Ridgely, McCabe, Moore and Kennedy - was formed to settle the controversy once and for all. They consulted every masonic work they could find and found no trace or foundation for the imputation. The Degrees in Freemasonry are too different from the Degrees in Odd Fellowship.

Even the use of apron as regalia by numerous fraternal or friendly societies of English origin, such as Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, United Order of Mechanics, Ancient Order of Free Gardeners and several others, are not a proof that they are copies or imitators of the Masonic Order. This is because the use of regalia or livery such as a collar or apron is a practice consequently borrowed by the Masonic Order from the customs of the craft guilds to which many other fraternal orders also originated. To use similarities in symbols, regalia and terminology as proof that one is an imitation is like saying "Japanese and Chinese people have similar features, therefore Japanese are Chinese." But in fact, they are two different nationalities.

One explanation for some similarities in terms of the laws and standard procedures is that many people also held active membership in both the Odd Fellows and the Freemasons. In fact, many people held high offices in both fraternities in the past and the present. Thus, cross-fertilization is very possible. Bro. General Albert Pike, one of the most popular  and controversial Freemasons during the 19th Century, was a Past Grand Master in both the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Free and Accepted Masons. He authored the revised degrees of the Scottish Rite and the Morals and Dogma in the mid-1800's. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was a revered Odd Fellow and Freemason.

2. They call Odd Fellows a "poor man's fraternity"
 In 1929, Deputy Grand Sire Logan delivered a speech: "Its membership, including membership of its sister fraternity of Odd Fellows, is more than five millions...It has been said that Odd Fellowship is a poor man's fraternity. If those making the suggestion mean that it makes no distinction between the rich and the poor, they are correct, but if they mean it is poor in money or otherwise, they lack information. Its assets are greater than the combined assets of all other purely fraternal societies. In the last five decades, it has collected and expended more than twenty-five million dollars, the greater part of which went towards relieving the distress incident to the human race".

 This accusation is an obvious evidence of the discreditable attitude by some fraternity members. Sad but true, holding an ‘elitist mentality’ or ‘social discrimination’ contradicts the principle of "The Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God" to which many of our fraternities are supposed to uphold. As for many Odd Fellows and even other fraternal organizations, it is a teaching that wealth should not be the basis for brotherhood. Since the beginning, the laws of Odd Fellowship emphasize that the fraternity does not aim to ‘rub shoulders’ with the rich and famous for satisfaction. Admittedly, Odd Fellows have members who belong to the lower social or economic class simply because Odd Fellowship, like many other healthy groups, does not have room for social discrimination and elitism. It aims to cater all people regardless of social status or personal appearance as long as one is of good moral character. This connotes that membership in Odd Fellows is somewhat diverse in terms of social and economic status. It should not be denied, however, that there are also members of this Order who belong to the "upper class" of the society. In fact, there are thousands of men and women of prominence who are listed as members of the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. Approximately five U.S. Presidents, thousands of senators, governors and political figures have been members of the Odd Fellows. Several Prime Ministers and Mayors in United Kingdom have also joined the ranks. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female American dentists, was also a member of the Order.

3. They call Odd Fellows a dead fraternity
It is admitted that Odd Fellows suffered a membership decline during the 20th Century primarily because of social changes such as 'the Great Depression' that occurred in the 1930's. But it is to be noted that this decline is not just experienced by the Odd Fellows alone but by all fraternal organizations in general. The Freemasons, Knights of Pythias and Elks in the United States and Canada are also encountering membership problems. This is due to several social factors such technological advancement, increased work hours for younger people, other leisure activities such as television and the internetMany Freemasons in the Philippines may be unaware of this but Freemasonry in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and several other countries are also facing a decline in membership just like most other fraternal orders. Read  one  example news article, click link: Masons grappling with aging and declining membership.

There may be a number of Odd Fellow lodges with very few members or some lodges that closed-down. However, this should not be a basis to label the ‘Odd Fellows as a dead fraternity’ or a basis for over-enthusiastic Freemasons to discriminate against members of the Odd Fellows. Despite these challenges, there are still Odd Fellow lodges that are growing and there are actually I.O.O.F. jurisdictions still hailing thousands of members. Proof that Odd Fellows is still a living fraternity would be that of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Continental Europe and Cuba. For example, Odd Fellowship is the largest fraternity in Norway and Freemasonry ranks second. In Sweden alone, the  Independent Order of Odd Fellows have some 40,000 active members. In Finland , some lodges have more than a hundred members in one city to the point that they can no longer accommodate everyone in their lodge building. As a result, they decided to split the lodge by instituting more than than one lodge in one City - some cities in Europe have five to ten lodges in one city with 50-200 members in each lodge. In fact, one Odd Fellows Lodge in Finland recently sold their lodge building to the Freemasons. Because the lodge room was too small, they decided to purchase a much larger building noting their membership are more numerous in that City than the Freemasons. In some countries and cities, some Odd Fellow lodges hold a larger membership than the Freemasons and other Fraternal Orders. 

It is admitted that the exact number of members today is not certain because not one jurisdiction holds the exact statistics. What we do know is that Norway alone has over 20,000 members in their country. Sweden has over 40,000 members in the country. Cuba has over 15,000 members in their country. Denmark has about 14,000 members also. All in all, there are probably about 300,000 people belonging to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Its sister organization, the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, has about 250,000 members. The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows has about 50,000 active members today. Combining the three Orders of Odd Fellows, there are at least 600,000 people still proudly representing the fraternity. These are enough proof that the Odd Fellows is not a dead fraternity but still alive. It may not be as numerous compared in the past like during the 'Golden Age of Fraternalism' when it was the largest fraternity in the world. Despite the 'apathy' and decline of interest in joining fraternal orders and civic clubs, Odd Fellowship like Freemasonry is still trying to survive. Also, a number of lodges are now being revived while some are exerting more effort to increase their membership. In fact, there had been a renewed interest in joining the Odd Fellows and several lodges are now experiencing a re-birth. 

Masonic Lodges in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom are also experiencing a decline in membership. In fact, many masonic buildings had been abandoned or closed-down

4. They said joining Odd Fellows is very easy
In their efforts to discredit or degrade the Odd Fellows as an Honorable fraternity, they alleged that it is an organization that is ‘very easy to join’. This may be true in lodges that are in the state of ‘reviving their membership’ or ‘starting up a lodge’. And this may be true since many Odd Fellows do not agree with the 'violent', ‘snobbish’ or 'elitist' procedure of admitting someone into membership but this does not mean they do not follow a certain procedure. Odd Fellowship are promoters of friendship, love and truth, it has been the practice of many Odd Fellows to be ‘approachable’ and ‘friendly’ to their applicants and even non-members as they are to their own brothers and sisters. Odd Fellows follow the Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

In reviving areas and new jurisdictions, it is true and possible that one can receive more than one degree or even all three or four degrees in one day. However, this should not be used to generalize that joining Odd Fellows is easy because the stringency of the procedure can vary from one lodge to another. The truth is, there are actually several jurisdictions that would require at least one year or more to finish all three degrees such in Cuba and Scandinavian countries in Europe. In Europe, some members actually shared that an applicant for membership in an Odd Fellow Lodge may need about 3 years to reach the third degree or the Degree of Truth. In addition, a third degree member may need to wait several years, some even up to 10 years, until they will be invited to receive the Encampment degrees - a higher branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows which offers three more additional degrees. But as previously mentioned, the length and procedure of joining may vary depending on the Grand Lodge or the Lodge.
Also, it should be noted that Odd Fellowship is not a competition of Freemasonry nor any other fraternal organizations in general. It is never the aim of Odd Fellowship to strive for 'superiority' or to claim to be the 'best among the rest', that is being vacuous at its best. Competing and discriminating members of other fraternal orders is in conflict with the philosophy of 'universal fraternity' and will only destroy what most fraternities stand for: the "Brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God". Odd Fellowship believes that all people are brothers and sisters regardless or nationality, skin color, religion, political affiliation, social and economic standing. Odd Fellowship and Freemasonry are two unrelated and independent fraternal organizations with different traditions, purpose and principles, not one is higher or better than the other. Historically, the two fraternities actually have a good relationship with each other. In fact, it was not uncommon to find men who were members of both, and also not uncommon for the two Orders to split the rent or share one single building such as the I.O.O.F, J.R. Scruggs Lodge 372 in Orangeville, Illinois, United States. There are also Freemason lodges that meet in Odd Fellows Halls and Odd Fellow lodges that meet in Masonic Temples.
Summerland I.O.O.F Rebekah Hall rented out to the the Blue Lodge of the A.F.&A.M. and Royal Arch Freemasons in Canada.

This historic building was constructed in 1910 and serves as the home of both the Odd Fellows and the Freemasons.
 It was originally an Odd Fellows hall but in 1925, the I.O.O.F. sold a 1/2 interest in the building to the Masons for $3,000 and both fraternities continue to use the building. 

Circa.1911 I.O.O.F.-Masonic Building at 122 3rd Ave. Stayton, Oregon

Joint-Odd Fellows and Freemason pin.
As mentioned earlier, there are many people who held active membership in both the Odd Fellows and Freemasons throughout history and up to the present. In fact, one can see pins, rings and graves bearing the three link chain emblem of the Odd Fellows and the square and compass emblem of the Freemasons. Along my travels throughout the United States in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, I have met quite a number of people who hold active membership in both fraternities. Several people I became friends with even hold high offices in both the Odd Fellows and Freemasons in the United States.

A grave bearing both Odd Fellows and Freemason emblem.
Freemason-Odd Fellow fraternity ring.
Grave of a member of both the Odd Fellows and Freemasons.
Fraternity ring of a member of both Odd Fellows and Freemasons.

Several Odd Fellow Lodges and Freemason Lodges also hold joint-activities in several countries worldwide.

For the second year, North Star Lodge No. 241 of the Free and Accepted Masons joined with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Warren Lodge #339, in Warren, PA, to host a community Easter egg hunt on April 7. More than 300 people attended the event.

Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge no. 128 and Mt. Moriah Grand Lodge of Oregon of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons co-hosted a "Halloween Carnival" in Portland, Oregon.

 In 1826, the "Morgan Affair" allegedly committed by a group of Freemasons damaged the image of fraternal orders and resulted to the birth of the Anti-Masonic Party (1828-1838). This was a big blow against Freemasonry and similar associations. Many lodges closed-down and thousands of Freemasons denounced their affiliation and dropped their membership in Freemasonry. This is excerpt dates back circa 1880 and talked about how the Odd Fellows in the United States indirectly helped changed people's prejudices about fraternal orders and freemasonry. By the late 1800's to early 1900's, hundreds of different fraternal orders were founded in the United States and millions of Americans became members. But among the hundreds, the Freemasons and Odd Fellows show the closest relationship. Yet the two organizations remain different and do not hold any formal affiliation with each other other than cross-membership. Up to today, approximately 50,000 people hold membership in both the Freemasons and Odd Fellows.
This hopefully educates the misinformed that Odd Fellows is not a copy nor a part of Freemasonry rather it is a different organization with different traditions, purpose and goals. Let me end with my own personal understanding of fraternalism:

"The concept of Fraternity was created to unite people NOT to divide them. To make them better NOT to make them worst. To improve their thinking NOT to distort their thinking. To let people do good things together NOT to let them do bad things together."

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” - Thomas Jefferson

Other Articles related to the topic:


Title: ODD FELLOWS - Rediscovering the history, principles structure and
traditions of a benevolent and fraternal society

Target publication year: 2019

Monday, 10 January 2011

Odd Fellows Fraternity in Dumaguete receives Charter

November 21, 2010

DUMAGUETE CITY, PHILIPPINES - Sovereign Grand Master George Glover III and Past Sovereign Grand Master Paul Cuminale of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows visited the City to turn-over the charter of Odd Fellows, Kapatirang Watchdog Lodge no.1, Dumaguete Encampment no.1 and Canton Dumaguete no.1.

At around 6:00pm, a program was held at C&L Suites Inn function hall. Inspiring thoughts, intermission numbers and a fellowship dinner was prepared along with the turn-over of the charters. Brother Kahlil Reu Reyes, as Noble Grand, received the charter of Watchdog Lodge no.1. Brother Anatoly Karpov Buss, as Chief Patriarch of Encampment, was the one to receive the charter for Dumaguete Encampment no.1. On the other hand, Louie Blake Sarmiento, as department Captain, received the charter of Canton Dumaguete no.1.

An award was also given by SGM Glover III to members of Odd Fellows Philippines in general, for their enthusiasm and dedication to the fraternity. PSGM Paul Cuminale, on the other hand, awarded PG Louie Blake Sarmiento the 'Heart of the Order Working Together Award' for his extra efforts to promote Odd Fellowship. Brother Paul Cuminale adjourned by saying "I would like to come back and visit the Philippines every year and watch it keep on growing and growing."

For more information e-mail:

Odd Fellows, Mindanaon Lodge no.2, received Charter

November 19, 2010

Sovereign Grand Master George Glover III and Past Sovereign Grand Master Paul Cuminale arrived in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, to turn-over the charter of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Mindanaon Lodge no.2.

In lieu of their visitation, a gala night was held 6:00 pm at Apple tree Resort Hotel. Brothers George and Paul were warmly welcomed and a presentation of the lodge’s recent projects was shown. Afterwards, the charter was received by Noble Grand Vencent Seth Ofngol and Vice Grand Jose Mari Regalado. In return, members of Mindanaon Lodge gave a token of appreciation. The event successfully ended at 10:00 pm.

For Odd Fellows, Mindanaon Lodge no.2 members, the event wasn’t just a turn-over of charter, it was a memorable one. The worldwide bond of friendship between Odd Fellows was inculcated in their hearts. They concluded “We are Odd fellows, we are Mindanaon lodge no.2!”

For more information about the fraternity:


HISTORY OF PHILIPPINE FRATERNITIES By Louie Blake S. Sarmiento Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Juris Doctor - ...