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As promised I thought it would be a good idea to post some pictures from the District shindig hosted by the brethren of Wayman lodge #1339, in celebration of 176 years of Friendship Love and Truth!

Brothers from Florence lodge,  Darlington Central, as well as Emmanuel lodge were in attendance to help us commemorate this moment in time!  The bonds were strengthened while our bellies were filled. A worthy candidate by the name of Robert who is an entrepreneur farmer and chef blessed us with some amazing food as well as a bounty of fruits and vegetables he cultivated to the delight of all present.  Remarks were given by NG brother Page, DGM Cannon, and DGD brother Bruce Benjamin.

Some artifacts were on display courtesy of PNF Bro.Page Sr who sent items he got from the Order in England as well as gifts from Bro. Humphrey and the IOOF from the Pelzer Canton. Also on display was a 100 year old copy of the #OddfellowsJournal and a special notice sent to the subordinate lodges of District 13 in 1924 concerning our fight to overcome the forces that had all but decimated our existence in the Palmetto State!

Everybody had a good time,  and finally,  we got to get to the most important aspect of our Order, fellowship with eachother!  I find that far too often we forget the purpose of our collective is to bond with eachother and build upon our memories fond recollection of the last time we were together……….

My only concern/regret is that everyone wasn’t able to attend!  Next year will be bigger and better though, that I can assure you of, and I hope that you, the reader will be there to witness it….

 

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

#salute #GUOOF #IOOF #DoubleOdds #flt #threelinks #District13 #DistrictGrandLodge #AreaII #InFriendshipLoveandTruth #fraternal #faithhopecharity #amicitiaamoretveritas

This post might be a little late but we have the entire year to celebrate and commemorate our history in this country!  Three by three with #FLT to all the #oddfellows of the world !!!! Today is extra special because it is the 176th Anniversary of the #GrandUnitedOrderofOddFellows in #America and #Jurisdiction !

Something that has lasted for centuries and survived long enough for US, the new faces of the #GUOOF to carry it high on OUR shoulders to ensure this Order’s existence is felt in perpetuity ! Brothers Hail Hail thrice Hail!!!!! From the mountains to the valleys on this day and forever more ! Eternal thanks to the creator for deeming us worthy enough to be gifted with our founder……The Illustrious Past Grand Master, Brother Peter Ogden !!!! We owe him for our eternal bond……

        ⌛Institution of the First Lodge⌛

The free colored men residing in #NewYorkCity and #Philadelphia organized and maintained societies for literary improvement and social pleasures many years before the #CivilWar.

The leading organization in the former city was styled the #PhilomatheanInstitute; and in the latter qty, the Philadelphia Library Company and Debating Society, Quite naturally they turned to the “Friendly Society” of Odd Fellows, and accordingly, in 1842, Patrick H. Reason, James Fields and others, of New Yorkpetitioned the IOOF for a dispensation on behalf of Philomathean Institute, which organization had already resolved itself into an association with a view of becoming an Odd Fellow’s Lodge. It is said that the petitioners were treated with contempt, and their application pre-emptorily refused. However, our early brethren were not so easily repulsed, but continued negotiations with some kindly disposed members of that Order, who held out the vain hope that the dispensation would ultimately be granted.

About that time, #PeterOgden, a colored man, steward of the ship Patrick Henry sailing between #NewYork and #Liverpool, England, arrived and was informed of the desire of these men and of the effort to obtain admission to #OddFellowship in this country. He averred that the dispensation could be secured through his Lodge in Liverpool, and that to be connected with England and the #GrandUnitedOrder was to obtain Odd Fellowship in its pristine purity.
Yet the forlorn hope held out to the Association at New York had given the members some encouragement, and they did not readily accept Peter Ogden’s advice. So, after several more ineffectual attempts to procure a charter, the members of the Association were sickened and convinced that the Independent Order would never grant it, and for no other reason under Heaven, than that the petitioners were colored men. They accepted Peter Ogden’s philosophy and his generous offer to ask for a dispensation through his Lodge, Victoria, No. 448. As the duly accredited deputy of these, our early brethren, he went on his mission. Braving the dangers of the deep, Peter Ogden arrived safely in Liverpool, and to Victoria Lodge he presented his applicaton. The Lodge did not hesitate, it is said, but gladly  accepted. In the presence of Peter Ogden and others it immediately communicated with the Committee of Management at the headquarters, then at Leeds. The Committee of Management, being true Odd Fellows indeed, and knowing no men by color, were overjoyed at this promised extension of the Order in America. They therefore promptly granted the dispensation to institute Philomathean Lodge, No. 646, New York City,  N. Y..  It was duly set apart on the first day of March, 1843, and from that time we date our beginning in America.

WHY THE FIRST NUMBER IS 646 ?

The question has often been asked why the first Lodge is not No. 1, and why do the breaks appear in the numerical order of our dispensations ? The reason is : Because all dispensations of the Grand United Order are issued first from the Committee of Management, England, and are numbered consecutively by them without regard to what Sub-Committee or country they go. For instance : all Lodges from #1 to #645 are in England ; and the numbers from #647 to #709 were granted to English Lodges after our first number, #646 was granted and before we applied for the second, Hamilton lodge #710……..

Just a little history for you to get some understanding of our journey into the greatest fraternal order to ever exist !!!!

I have included some pictures from District 13’s celebration held at Wayman lodge #1339 in Columbia!  Might have to make it a post on its own….Representatives from the majority of lodges in SC came together in FL&T !

Our roster like the one I just recently posted on Fraternal lodge 1064, furnished the names of countless individuals, hell bent and heaven sent on getting African Americans their Just prerogatives in the Palmetto State  !!! Brother J.C. Artemus isn’t just a chip off the old block,  he’s the whole blood clot ting eh ?? Our Brother was a proud member of #BeulahLodge2083 , out of Columbia. SC. He is one of many I will mention in the upcoming days……..

From: https://aaregistry.org/story/john-artemus-an-ally-of-union-organizing/

He was born in Edgefield, S.C., of sharecropper parents. At a young age, Artemus realized that this type of farming system benefited only the white landlords and not the black tenant farmers. He was forced to leave Edgefield when he confronted his family’s landlord over unfair wages. Artemus moved to Columbia, where he worked for several of the city’s major merchants as a store clerk. He worked during the day and attended Benedict College in the evening. During these years, he learned carpentry and studied construction and contracting through correspondence courses. He worked on many homes and rental properties in both black and white communities.

After many years, Artemus joined the Columbia office of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. For 12 years, he worked as an insurance agent and an assistant manager. Because of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Artemus returned to carpentry, hoping to benefit from the federal building projects started by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. But black workers were barred from these projects. Artemus and a small group of supporters organized Local 2260 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to represent black workers throughout central South Carolina.

Their efforts broke many racial barriers. As the union’s business agent from 1939 to 1954, Artemus assured black participation in major construction projects, such as Fort Jackson, Shaw Air Force Base, the Savannah River Site, the DuPont Fibers complex, and numerous federal housing developments from New Jersey to Florida. From 1951 to 1959, he represented the state’s black Americans as vice-
president-at-large of the South Carolina Federation of Labor Executive Board. He became the first treasurer of the newly formed Progressive Democratic party, an organization formed to provide blacks with an opportunity to take part in state and national elections.

New voters flooded polling places in 1948. “J.C.” Artemus never relaxed in his quest to register and give political insight to new African-American voters. By 1950, he was a member of the Columbia Democratic Executive Committee. This great labor leader and political reformer also served as a poll manager at one of the city’s most influential precincts from 1952 until his death in 1964.

“Our history must have a beginning! “, have been my thoughts since I took up this cause…..To peel back 176 years of experiences, lessons, and commonalities, getting at the root ! What it was…..what it is….. that makes our collective “Grand ” !!! In the spirit of humble beginnings I present to you the original papers, displaying the dispensation granted from the first lodge, Philomathean Lodge #646 to open the first lodge in South Carolina: Fraternal Lodge #1064 out of Charleston…. My next move is running through the names and gaining further insight into who these illustrious brothers were……..To the brethren of #District13…..we are about to embark on a journey into the past, in efforts to secure our future………..

 

Can anyone else appreciate the fact that this lodge was officially announced October 11th in 1865 ?  Not more than a few months since the last shots were fired in the Civil War !!! This is heavy !

There are quite a few names here so bear with me yall. I will report my findings….

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

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

Special thanks to Bro. Feaster of St. James lodge #1455 hailing from Atlanta!  I owe you a serious debt as I would not have this to share without your astute research !      FL&T!

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..

 

 

 

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……

 

 

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

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