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Greetings in FL&T,

from the desk of Bro. Supreme Page :

Worthy Brothers and sisters of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction Happy New Year !!!! The past year for District 13 was chock full of ups and downs yet we are still going strong and still moving forward.  Our strength is only as strong as our weakest members though. With that being said I would emplore all the members who read this to extend your heart in hand to a brother or sister whom you haven’t seen at the last meeting,  someone who you almost forgot about.  Doesn’t necessarily have to be an Elder but even so, check on them often  !!!!!

Our national communication should be more than death notices and Facebook Groups !!!!

It is my sincerest attempt to inspire potential candidates to bring new life into our mysteries yet, I feel compelled to speak with our elders. Understanding that time isn’t on our side, we must seek out,  and bring all our elders back to the “Light” of Oddfellowship.  Not saying you have to go out and hit yelp n look up every past member (although I do) , but how much would it hurt to call and inquire about our lodge or household  pioneers?  The torch can’t be passed if we fail to extend our hands ! These brothers and sisters are our living libraries and some very important events in our history are stored in their minds.

I am on the hunt for stories,  old programs, old photos, etc.  Ultimately it is time for our story to be told to the public, letting the world know about this beacon of light we have been shining since 1843!

 

I am writing a book on our history,  possibly two, because so much has been left unsaid for too long ! I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of our brethren,  to do research about US ! To browse the personal effects of those who came before us is in itself a jewel worth it’s weight in gold ! Being able to teach a wider audience about all we have done throughout history is a labor of love ! My only hope is that some of you will reach out to me with your own stories about a lodge, household,  or specific members. You can send me an email at:

Supremelyodd@gmail.com

To my up and coming researchers I need your help as well.  Many college libraries have special collections waiting for someone like you to spelunk their volumes ! You can start online and so your journey begins. If you’re interested in our rich history and it’s preservation hit me up…..

I leave as I came in the bond of Friendship Love and Truth!

Bro. Supreme Emanuel Page jr NG Wayman lodge 1339, Dist.13 Gr. Historian and National Historian for America and Jurisdiction

 

It is with esteemed honor that I announce the resurrection of St. John Lodge #1455 of the Grand United Order of OddFellows out of Atlanta, Georgia ! With the consolidated efforts of South Carolina’s District 13 another step forward has been taken! Our chief goal is to breathe life back into this order and I am proud to say that we are bearing fruit from the oddfellows tree. This lodge was initially brought into existence in 1870, a mere 5 years after our brothers and sisters were emancipated!  There are many who share a hand in this arduous task that is indeed worth our consolidation ! We must press on and continue to be a light so bright the sun gotta wear shades …….
Atlanta’s Auburn community was a beacon for black business and quickly rose to prominence and prosperity……like them, our new torch bearing brothers will again shine bright !

This has been one of the most important weekends for the brothers in South Carolina and the order in general ! Many many more to come yall so stay tuned! Special thanks to District 13 Grand Master Shawn Cannon and Brother Tim Reed and the rest of the degree team that traveled south to assist in our growth! Speaking of growth, I want to welcome my brother Geoffrey Powell into our #Mysteriousthree ! I am honored to be among you brothers and together we will be a force for #Friendship #Love and #Truth! #guoof #guoofof #oddfellow #Oddfellowship #3links #flt #oddhistory #philanthropy #doforself #fraternal #threelinks

As the title states,  I am pleased to inform everyone of our latest news ! Firstly, congrats are in order for Bro. Supreme Page jr for being appointed by the Committee of Management to again Chair the Historic Committee.  Our District Grand Master Shawn Cannon has been appointed by the Grand Master to Chair the Grand Legislative Committee as well as Co-chair the Membership Committee.  They will be duly installed in Philadelphia next month !  

On top of S.C.’s District 13 touting two National positions, Bros Shawn Cannon, Bruce Benjamin, and Kevin Williams also recently acquired the degrees for the Past GrandMaster’s Council !!!! The brethren in South Hill, Va welcomed them to move up n delve further into the higher degrees of our Order this past weekend. 

The brethren of Wayman lodge 1339 are still moving strong with their philanthropy and charity with their 2nd annual Toys for Tattz program !  Stay tuned as more will be shared in the near future!  In FLT and PHP..

 

 

 

I am pleased to announce to the world that our Brother and #NobleGrand Albert Davis lll of #Hartsville, #SC won a seat on the Darlington County Council for District 6 on Tuesday November 6, 2018 !!!!  Bro. Davis is in charge of Darlington Central Lodge No. 3440 #GUOOF , which was originally founded September 12, 1891 in #Darlington #SouthCarolina !!!!! We are so proud of him and as he takes a step further into political positions of prominence,building up the community , we shall move with him ! This is a proud moment for #District13 and all of the #Oddfellows around the world! Feels good to post something that just happened ! Anyhow time to raise the bar oddfellows !  #salutes are in order and we all are truly blessed to have him in our Mysterious Three!  #guoofof #oddfellows #oddfellow #Oddfellowship #3links #flt #threelinks #oddhistory #InFriendshipLoveandTruth

#election2018 #midterms

Bro. Ransom W. Westberry, was born July 1871 in Horatio,Sumter County, SC
His childhood was split between working the farm and attending some grade school. Later, he attended Benedict College as well as Wilberforce University for a term.
For 15 years he lived in the city of Chicago where he worked as a mail carrier.
Bro. Westberry served in Company C. 8th Illinois United States Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War.
The 8th Illinois was the first African American regiment to have all African America Officers. They were mustered in at Springfield, IL., and traveled by the Cruiser Yale from New York City to Santiago, Cuba, where they garrisoned the town of San Luis de Cuba. They spent nine months in Cuba and returned on the steamship Sedgwick to Newport News, VA.; then by rail to Chicago, where they were mustered out on Aug 3, 1899.
Once back in the Carolinas , Westberry accumulated quite a few properties and started the R. Westberry Realty Co. He held a slew of prominent positions in and around Sumter. He was Secretary of the Mutual Undertaking and Embalming Association, Sec. of the colored State Fair Association, President of the National Farmers Association, President Auxiliary of the National Negro Business League etc….
Among the secret societies work he was of course an OddFellow, G.U.O.O.F , serving for years as head of the State Endowment Dept. He was also known among the Good Samaritans , the Knights of Pythias, and the Masonic GL of South Carolina where he served as Grand Director. He died , November 1928 and was buried in #LincolnCemetery in #Illinois

There are three types of people in this world :

1. Those who make things happen.

2.Those who watch what happens.

3. Those who wonder what happened.

It pleases me to announce that here in Columbia, SC.  The brethren of Wayman Lodge 1339 are growing.  It goes without saying that fraternal organizations are experiencing a decline worldwide.  There exists a social and generational gap between these organizations and the world in which we live. The world is in a state of disarray with accountability being the word of the day!   The lodge however is managing to capitalize and fulfill the needs of worthy brethren  through our bond of Friendship, Love, and Truth  !  We still manage to shine a light through societal darkness. This past month we initiated two individuals who are more than worthy….. May I introduce to the world Brothers Tim Reed and Terrance Hayes !

These two new additions to our Lodge are living proof that we’re on the right path. These two fellows are a testament to our plight as their presence in turn brings more light and life to the Order. No longer are we a thing of the past but a staple for the future ! Many good things are in order for this new young brand of Odd fellows,  sticking to traditional values while implementing innovative methods of fellowship and continuing this rich legacy……

Pictured above is the brethren from left to right (PNF) Emanuel Page, (OG) Andrew Williams, (W) Andre Williams, newly initiated Brothers Terrance and Tim, myself (NG) seated left, and (VG) Jarrett Jenkins, but minus (WC) Bro. Humphrey and our Double Odds from Texas…..

At our last gathering we were presented with an apron that was worn by our predecessors,  gifted to the lodge by our Past Noble Father, who continues to enlighten us….He still travels 6 hours one-way to attend meetings and assist us, never letting the lodge down!  

Some might not understand this brotherhood,  and we’re okay with that, because Oddfellowship isn’t for everyone, but our earnest goal is to help everyone that we can.   Being a part of history is a rewarding feeling of itself,  making history shall be the reward of those who come after us……

I leave as I came in the bond of friendship, love, and truth……

 

 

On June 4th, The Grand United Order of Oddfellows in America and Jurisdiction said their final farewells to Most Honorable Grand Master Emeritus, Brother Labon Malachi Lundy of Nassau, Bahamas.

Aged 70 years Bro. Lundy was born Oct. 25th 1947, and departed this life on May 23 2018. He leaves behind a host of family as well as Brothers and Sisters from Various levels of the Order.

The memorial service and rites were delivered by Most Honorable Grand Master John W. Green @ Aurora Lodge #810.

There were innumerable members in attendance as well as the District Grand Masters of Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

District 13’s #threewisemen were at it again, traveling to #Virginia this time to visit with the #PastGrandmastersCouncil ! The brothers went to learn and attain their wisdom as we move forward in our goal to become the Hub District for the #GrandUnitedOrderofOddFellows in #America and Jurisdiction and then the #World!

 

Through positive examples of #Friendship #Love and #Truth We shall meet and exceed all barriers and expectations. To whom much is given, much is expected so we are enduring our share of the work. It is almost our 175th #anniversary of existence in this country so it’s our duty to make sure we last another 175 years. It can be done by sticking to the script, yet enhancing the narrative! Special thanks to Bro. Bobby Stone and the brethren of #HayesChapelLodge #8123 for their gracious #hospitality and outright #discipline in teaching us how to carry the light of #Oddfellowship….

Our founders would be proud !
#oddfellows #oddfellow #guoof #guoofof #blackhistorymonth #americanhistory #flt #threelinks #District13 #DistrictGrandLodge #AreaII

Correspondence between Our Founder and the self inducted “United Order of Oddfellows” Pottsville,Pa in a vain attempt to legitimize them…

 

 

 

The following is a copy of the first letter sent :
New York, Aug. 1, 1847.
Sir: —Having been appointed by the Committee of Management of the G. U. O., Leeds, England, as their agent to confer with the Deputies from the U. 0. of Odd Fellows in Pottsville, Pa, and now being in New York, in obedience with their instructions I have the pleasure to informyou that I am now ready to meet the Deputies from Pottsville, in this city, as soon as it will be convenient to them. The Commitee of Management promised to inform you of my appointment, which I presume they have done.
In regard to your application, the Committee of Management laid it before the Annual Meeting in May last, and it was then decided that the whole matter should be left in the hands of the Committee of Management, and as I am their agent for America, they have turned over the whole business into my hands, and as we have already twenty-two Lodges in the United States? I trust we shall be able to effect a union which will be beneficial to all parties concerned.
The G. U. O. of O. F. is becoming very extensive; we number upwards of 60,000 members in England, Scotland and Wales, we have also Lodges in New South Wales, with a Sub-Committee of Management; we have also lately sent Dispensations and Power to form a Sub-Committee of Management to the city of Madras, in the East Indies. You will perceive by this that we are extending very rapidly, and if we can effect a union between your Lodges and the Lodges which are already formed in this country, which are doing exceedingly well, I think the Order will progress very rapidly, and no doubt, will in a few years rival the I. O. of O. F. in this country. You will please drop me a note, .and let me know about the time the Deputies will be ready, and I will make the necessary arrangements, and inform you of the time and place of meeting. Yours with great respect,
PETER OGDEN,
Of Victoria Lodge, No. 448, Liverpool.

The following is a response from the self induced lodges in Pottsville….

Office of the Grand Secretary. Port Carbon, Schuylkill Co., Pa., Aug. 9, 1847. Peter Oguex; P. G. M.

Sir: —Your communication announcing your arrival in New York, and your readiness to confer with the Deputies on the subject of the proposed union between the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows of Great Britain and the United Order of the United States, has been duly received by the undersigned, to whom was referred the whole matter by the R. W. Grand Dodge of the United States, America. And having been informed that you are a colored man, in reply we regret to say that ; Owing to the prejudice which unfortunately exists in the minds of the people of this country, we have to decline meeting you; for we are fully confident that was the undersigned willing to cast aside their own prejudices and consent to meet you on grounds of perfect equality, all that they might say and do would eventually be frustrated by the Order at large in this country. We had thought that the brethren in Great Britain were fully sensible of this fact, and that they certainly would spare it hose feelings which we fear the circumstances will give rise to. And that they would not for a moment harbor the thought of our condescending to a negotiation, which in the very outset would nail down the coffin lid upon the skeleton of our Order; for the prejudices of the people of the United States are such, that were we to effect a union with your self, in two years from the date thereof, our Order among the white community would have faded from existence. Of this fact, you sir, can not be ignorant; and you will, therefore, we trust, receive this communication fully appreciating our own disappointment, and feeling the same regret at the error, or, perhaps, want of perspicuity on the part of the brethren in Great Britain on matters of this character in America, Besides, when we consider the position of our formidable rival, the I. 0. 0. F., which we believe to be no less formidable in Great Britain, we are more fully admonished of the impropriety of meeting again, and of the dangerous results of such a meeting to the best interests of our own Order. But it is unnecessary for us to enlarge on this matter, as we feel satisfied that you are as well acquainted with the prejudices of our people as we ourselves.  We do not. however, wish negotiations to close with this communication for we believe our Order should be one and universal throughout the habitable globe, and we may address another communication to the A. M. C. on the subject, hoping that a Deputy may be sent with whom there will be no difficulty on the grounds of color; for we believe a union can be affected that will prove beneficial and satisfactory to all concerned.
If the A. M. C. or Committee of Management may have forwarded any communications by you to the Grand Lodge, you will please for ward them to either of the undersigned. Should our information rela tive to yourself be erroneous, you will please inform us.
Sincerely hoping that the present difficulty may speedily be re moved, we are, with respect, etc., signed:
ROBERT M. PALMER, P. R. W. G. Sire, GEORGE HEATON, P. R. W. G. Sire, MORRIS H. GORHAM, R. W. G. Secretary. To Peter Ogden, P. G. M.
Ship “Patrick Henry.”

The following is a copy of the second letter sent:
New York, Aug. 12, 1847. Sir: —Thinking it quite time that I should have an answer from you. yesterday morning I wrote a letter to see whether you had received mine. On the way to the post-office I stopped at our office, and found what purported to be an answer to my letter to you, and must say was much surprised at its contents, and should not have condescended to an swer it were it not for the purpose of correcting an error which you and your colleagues seem to have fallen into, in regard to the knowledge which the people of Great Britain and the Committee of Management have concerning the state of parties in America, etc. . .
In regard to your first objection, you say you have heard I was a colored man. That is true, and I am not ashamed to own it, and the whole Order is acquainted with the fact, as well as the Committee of Management at Leeds. Those who do not know it personally, know it by the magazines which are published by our Order, also by my ad dresses, several of which have been published in England and America. In regard to the second point in your communication, I would not meet you on any other ground than perfect equality in every sense of thei word, and the instructions from the A. M. C. of our Order in May last to the Committee of Management was that nothing should be done that would interfere with the lodges already established here. With regard to the effects which an union might have upon what you justly term the skeleton of your Order, I think the course you are pursuing will very soon nail dawn the coffin lid, and consign it to oblivion, and the world will be ledto view it among the things that once were, but is now “no more forever.” And you will recollect that the United Order of 1830 is not the re-organized and enrolled Grand United Order of 1847; and we number now upwards of nine hundred lodges.
We are more extended than the I. O.O.F.of America, as we have lodges in New South Wales, with a Sub-Committee of Management; and lately sent dispensations and a grant to form a Sub-Committee of Management to the city of Madras, in the East Indies. You will bear in mind that they are not white people, and in the district of Liverpool where they have a perfect knowledge of the prejudices in America, there are a great number of colored Americans, who have joined both the Grand United Order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and they are much sought after by both Orders; and in several of our lodges in America are members who have drawn their cards from the lodges, write now very flattering accounts, and I feel confident that in a very brief space of time some of the Northern and Eastern towns will come in. notwithstanding the bug bear prejudice which seems to frighten your colleagues so much.
To speak the truth, it does appear to me that your members’ ideas are rather antiquated, and have not kept pace with the age. I am once more strengthened in this belief from the fact of your having started some fifteen or sixteen years ago with a comparatively clear field before you, the United Order, and during the whole of that time you have not been able to finish paying for your dispensations, and your Order has dwindled to a skeleton, and from appearances is about making its last gasp. I find you have yet to learn one fact concerning our Order, which is that
“No pent-up nation, country, or complexion, confines our powers, But the whole unbounded universe is ours.”
As a contrast to your Order’s proceedings, I take pleasure in being able to inform you that since I opened the first Lodge on the first of March, 1843, we have granted twenty-one dispensations for Subordinate Lodges, and I have opened two Grand Master’s Chapters, all of which are doing exceedingly well; and if some of your members should happen to be in Philadelphia on the fifth of October next, they will see the G. M.’s Chapter turnout and I feel confident they will not disgrace themselves or the Order. I shall not see them myself, as I shall then be in Liverpool. I mention these things to show that our Order is not a skeleton, but is sound both in mind and limb. In regard to communications from the Committee of Management. I have none for your colleagues or self, the whole business having been left in my hands with unlimited powers. I have your communication directed to P. G. M. Taylor, which I will hold until further orders from the Committee of Management. With best respects,

PETER OGDEN, P. G. M.,
Of Victoria Lodge, So. 448, Liverpool.

The object and benefits of our Order were most beautifully explained by Grand Secretary Wm. M. Nelson, on the fifth day September, 1853, on the occasion of a grand banquet by Shakespeare Lodge, 252, at Manchester, England…..
The Address is a model of elegant diction, chaste English . and comprehensive thought. It was published in the Odd Fellows’ Magazine in November, 1853, and so great was the demand for the address, that three separate editions of the magazine contained it.

These are his words :

“Those who speak of our Order as merely a sick society, betray an utter ignorance of the nature of the institution they undertake to criticize ; nor need we be surprised at this, for where interest and prejudice combine to prompt the use of the false balance, there will never be wanting those who are willing to assume the character of corrupt judges. The object of this Order is to elevate the whole man, its provisions have reference to his intellectual, moral and physical capabilities, it influences every circumstance of life, and it is calculated to modify the relations of society, both socially, morally and politically. Its influence as a political safeguard cannot be overestimated.
“The only way in which a man can be taught the use of an implement, or a principal thoroughly, is by being himself practised in that use. Where can the necessity of subordination and government be learnt better than in the lodge room? The moment he enters its portals the lesson of obedience begins ; he must obey ‘ere he can command, and he speedily learns that: He also serves who only stands and waits. It is surely no vain boast to say that it is a noble sight to see a voluntary organization for common purposes like ours composed of men of all classes, parties and sects extending over this mighty empire, distributed in every town and village, and numbering from forty to fifty thousand individuals, working not only harmoniously but cordially together, as the Grad United Order has done for more than half a century. We ask in vain the political parties of this country to show us an organization so perfect, a society so en during. And let us bear in mind that when we are enumerating this army of economists we are numbering the healthy, the moral and the industrious of the land ; for these are qualities which are required in all who enter the Order, nor can those who do not possess these qualifications be admitted without flagrant breach of our laws.
“It has been the fashion to look too much at apparently large events in estimating the progress of a people. Historians are too apt to forget that the foundations of the social pyramid are laid broad and deep beneath the surface of society, and it is only in very recent times, that in our own country, the true sources of the nation’s prosperity, the real nature of the bulwarks of society, have become recognized.
“I am happy to say that secret orders are now classed among the most important institutions, formed by the industrious classes for their own support, elevation, and improvement. Yes, Mr. Chairman, when we speak of education, let it never be forgotten that the Odd Fellow’s Lodge is a real educational institution ; when we recommend forethought and providence, let it be remembered that the working man’s bank and his insurance society is his lodge, and that this educational institution was established long, very long before governments had found it worth while to provide means for the instruction of the people. This bank had conferred innumerable and inestimable blessings upon the families of our members long, very long before speculators established the first insurance society I have said that the lodge is an educational institution, when properly organized and conducted, we all know that it is so, in the noblest and most extended sense of that much abused term. No sooner does the approved candidate enter the doors of his future lodge, than his ears are greeted with precepts of the purest morality, and the most extended benevolence ; his duty to himself, his fellow man, his country, and his family are brought forcibly before him.
“When the honors of office are conferred upon him, at what step does he not receive new lessons of wistlom and of love. ‘Amicitia, Amor et Veritas,’ the glorious motto of the Order is illustrated and enforced on every occasion, and Friendship, Love and Truth gleams upon the Odd Fellow’s path everywhere. It is embroidered upon his banner ; it shines in golden characters from his Dispensation ; it greets him upon the walls of the lodge, and is found in emblem and, in fact, wherever the Order has its scat. “If the Odd Fellow is not sober, honest, industrious and be nevolent, a good husband, a kind father, and a loyal and virtuous citizen, it is because the admonitions he received, the examples to which he is directed, and the vows he has made, are neglected or forgotten.”
Our objects are simple, and easy to be understood, and may be thus briefly stated : ( 1 ) To administer to the wants of those afflicted by sickness; (2) To inter, respectably our dead; (3) To relieve those who are traveling in search of employment ; (4) To provide a competency for the widows and orphans of our deceased members after we have thus interred them; and, lastly, to improve the moral character of our members so as to make them good and respected citizens. With such objects as these, then we may, I think, with confidence come before the world, as we are doing, to give expression to our sentiments, and to invite those to whom our several institutions might be of service, to join us in so good a cause, and those whose affluence places them beyond the benefits of such a society to assist us in providing them for the enjoyment of others, who, but for such timely aid, might perhaps be hurried into the commission of offences against the law, or the alternative of a county work house…..

An example of fine oration from one of our brethren….

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