Monday, October 26, 2009

History of the Independent Order of Odd fellows in the Philippines

The Odd Fellows first reached the Philippines in the year 1872 and was largely responsible for the petty insurrection of the following year. However, membership was only limited mostly to military servicemen during that time that's why it did not spread throughout the Island as compared to American freemasonry which reached the Philippine Islands in 1877 (Source: Major O.W. Coursey, U.S. Volunteer, author of the History and Geography of the Philippine Islands).

The first I.O.O.F lodge in the Philippines was Manila lodge no. 1 and Manila Encampment no.1 which was formally instituted around 1898 by brother Badley who is a United States Army assigned in Manila. However, it ceased to operate when American servicemen went back to the United States. The last surviving document of Manila lodge no. 1 and Manila Encampment no. 1 is the roster of members of 1926.

In 1985, another group known as Watchdog Committee informally organized as a brotherhood and sisterhood that focuses on civil rights. In 2009, a number of its members decided to organize the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Watchdog lodge no.1 and Watchdog Encampment no.1, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines.

The lodge was formally instituted by the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States on Novemeber 20-22, 2009 in Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines.