March 12, 2011

Despite a busy month for most of us, some of our brothers and sisters of Odd Fellows, Watchdog Lodge no.1, still attended to welcome brothers Joseph Ceriales, 'Jun-Jun' Martinez, Joseph Gemina and Answer Arquio into the initiatory degree of our brotherhood. Several of us met Brothers Joseph Ceriales and Jun-Jun  through Gawad Kalinga Foundation which caters the needs of unfortunate people. Brothers Joseph Gemina and Answer Arquio inquired for membership when they saw our invitation for interested individuals on the internet. And they seem to be a good line-up of new brothers that we can all be proud of. We hope to work with them for the common good and accomplish our functions: First, as a fraternity which aims to promote universal brotherhood, sisterhood, a sense of family and mutual-enjoyment. Second, as a socio-civic organization which aims to cater the needs of the community. Third, as a philosophical school which aims to impart to its members some practical principles of how to live life as an Odd Fellow.

Eversince the Odd Fellows was revived in the Philippines, we are proud to say that Watchdog Lodge no.1 and Mindanao Lodge no.2 have participated in various activities that aim for the common good. It may not be very 'big events' but it was worth the appreciation as those activities we were involved with were truly heart-warming for most of us. If we look back, it was indeed good to see brothers and sisters work together and, when vacant, involve ourselves with altruistic and benevolent activities.

The Odd Fellows really started as an altruistic group of people dedicated to the common good. Hundreds of years ago, the world was filled with challenges. There were very few schools and hospitals. Life was tough, often lawless and desperate. Medicine was still crude and in a primitive stage. Life expectancy was about 45 to 50. There were lots of sickness, orphaned kids, widowed mothers and many people cannot afford to pay a descent burial for the dead.

So, ordinary people from different trades and walks of life found it necessary to group together as brothers and sisters and contribute some of their hard-earned wages to a common fund which they could use for unfortunate times such as sickness, losing a job and even death. When the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized by brothers from England in 1819, they made “Visit the sick, relieve the distress, bury the dead and educate the orphans” as the command of our fraternity. Most people may be unaware of the organization's humanitarian contributions because they are usually not publicized and although the world is a bit better now as compared in the past, we bet it is still an honor to continue the legacy of Odd Fellowship.  May we all be proud to be an Odd Fellow and continue making friends while helping people!

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