Message Boards > Topics > Organizations and Societies > International Order of Odd Fellows [IOOF]


Subject: Re: MUIOOF & Freemasonary
Author: George Currie - NZ
Date: Friday, July 19, 2002
Classification: Query

Hi Paula, Yes your ealier reply is correct, but perhaps I should elaborate more for you. It is an abreviation of MUIOOF which is "Manchester Unity Independant Order of Oddfellows". It is quite different from the Masonic Lodges in that it is a "benefit lodge". It has more of a social structure than Masonic, founded in Manchester, England during the days before Government Social Welfare assistance. Members contributed for common benefits of health and welfare. It has both male and female membership. These Lodges continue today supplying those same benefits likes of lower doctor and chemist costs, credit unions for member savings and lending. Funeral benefits and has a strong social structure. Masonic Lodges are based on male membership although there are many female and children's ladges and associations as well. Freemasonary has a very large and varied application to community life. Simply it is based on the ancient Stone Masons and the building of any building structure made to stand the rigors of time. This is symbolically applied to the human race to make good men better men. The science of erecting the impressive building structures around the world are done so having to stay up! So this applied to men should make them strong upright members of the community and society generally. The process of being a Freemason is likened to that of joining the very early stonemason leagues of becoming an apprentice, through to a fellowcraft to that of a fully qualified stonemason who knows how to build any large building and constructed to stay there. All the tools of a stonemason are sybolically used to depict aspects of life that can help people apply themselves as good and sound citizens of the community and society at large. Without any "trumpets blowing" Freemasons give much to society in health and welfare in helping those in difficulty, but their membership in particular. In general terms a member of a masonic ladge should be one to be respected. There ios a good social structure built into the Lodges as well. I think they have sometimes let themselves down in not proclaiming their values more. Up until recently a new member had to seek membership knowingly wanting to be like those others in the community they respected. However this has tended to make them in some regions a "closed secret society" which they really are not. This seems to be an offshoot thinking of those outside what is often known as "The Craft" (Freemasonary). It has strong biblical backing as well and once a member one can find it a most interesting and beneficial organisation to be a part of. There is much more to Freemasnoary than what I have alluded to here but this is a "little painting" of the organisation which is very big in the world as a whole in many countries. Best wishes or if it was to another Masonic member "Fraternal Greetings". George Currie, PM Methven Lodge No.51 New Zealand Constitution. (PM - "Past Master")