Sunday, January 3, 2010

History of I.O.O.F, Watchdog Lodge no.1, Dumaguete City, Philippines

Watchdog Lodge no.1 was actually inspired and founded by members of an underground fraternal organization called the Watchdog Committee which was brought by two Filipino-African-American from New York.

The history of Watchdog Committee started back in the days when racial segregation and discrimination was still very existent in the United States. Our unpublished history books states that:

1890, numerous secret and underground African-American groups were formed to protect themselves from being oppressed and attacked by racists groups such as the members of the KKK, an all white American group that uses terrorism, violence and lynching murder towards African-Americans in the United States.

1968, our founding members were influenced by the Black Panthers Party, a militant African-American political party founded in 1965 to end oppression and dominance by Whites, when it reached New York and introduced:

1. Nationalist Ideology.
2. Its policy of "serving the people".
3. Practice of Women's Equality.

1970, inspired by these ideologies, our founding fathers first secretly formed “Underground Neighborhood Watchers or U.N.W” in Crown Heights, New York, U.S.A, as a protection group against racism, marginalization, violence, and oppression.

August 23, 1985, after the Black Panthers Party disbanded, “Watchdog”, which means someone who serves as guardian or protector against any waste, loss, or threats such as oppression, discrimination, marginalization and subordination, was established as a secret society. All members solemnly vowed to protect the weak against the abuse of the powerful (the discrimination of the poor by the rich, oppression towards African-American & Asian-American race, etc.) and to never reveal the existence of our organization. This movement was formed by a group of friends who believed in empowering the unfortunate and oppressed through brotherhood and sisterhood, unity, equality, peace, and justice.

1995, a chapter respelled Watchdog into Watchdogg to give credit to their so called ghetto heroes who passed away as victims of police brutality and violence. D, O, G, and G represent the names of Dave Omar and Gwen Gambion who, together with Wilt Jackson, Bill Jackson and Dan Daniels (A half Filipino-African-American)
, helped reform the organization.

1996, Watchdogg or Watchdog, whose names are interchangeable used, reached San Francisco Valley in Los Angeles. Members then added the word “Committee” to emphasize that it evolved into an organization wherein members are also members of various groups in the community therefore making it into an inter-organization or inter-fraternity. The abbreviation “WDC” was also introduced.

1997, WDC reached the Philippines and was established as a secret society in which members were not allowed to speak about its existence to non-members. The group was widely yet silently active in terms of civil and political rights.

2004, with hundreds of members and a number of chapters in different neighborhoods in the Philippines, WDC re-organized itself and opened its name to the public after 19 years of being a secret society.

2008, there was an elementary dispute regarding the two WDC groups: Watchdogg and Watchdog. Watchdogg, being traditional ghetto influenced branch of WDC, did not agree with the Watchdog branch evolving into a service fraternity that aims at helping the community. The Watchdog branch, on the other hand, did not agree with some practices whom are believed to be contradictory to the original purposes of WDC. Watchdog wants to innovate the organization and adopt to modern times.

August 2009, already very involved in philanthropic projects, the majority of the members of Watchdog Committee branch decided to affiliate their group into the Oddfellows and at the same time revive the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the Philippines.

September 10, 2009, the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States approved the idea and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Watchdog Lodge no.1, was given the authority to organize.

November 21, 2009, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the Republic of the Philippines was revived. Watchdog Lodge no.1, Watchdog Encampment no.1 and Canton Watchdog no.1, was formally instituted in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines by the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States.

Watchdog, though now a lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, still emphasize the importance of their three aims since 1985: Unity, Equality and Peace.

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