BY TRUDIE BRISSON
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows ( I.O.O.F.) made history May 11, 2019 by electing their first Female Odd Fellow to the top job at their annual sessions held in Victoria.
Trudie Brisson is now the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. She has been a member of the Order since 1973. She is a Past President of the Rebekah Assembly which is the female part of the Odd Fellows and holds many other titles in the various other Branches of the Order, but Grand Master will be the highest ranking title.
The Odd Fellows have been in Europe for many years and are now world wide. They started in North America in 1819 when Thomas Wildey found other Odd Fellows in Baltimore, Maryland and together they started the fraternity that they felt so strongly about.
As general labourers 200 years ago, if someone’s spouse died or if someone was hurt, there was no help for them, so these Odd Fellows decided they could make a difference by helping when needed.
In today’s world, there is help if someone dies, or is hurt, but there is still a great need. We raise money for education like bursaries and scholarships. We raise money for Children’s Hospital, Visual Research, arthritis, cancer, and many other needs in our communities.
At one time there was an Odd Fellows lodge in nearly every town in British Columbia. Things got hard and folks got older and now our membership has shrunk, but we are still doing all we can for our communities.
There still is active Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges in Prince George. If anyone is interested in becoming a member of this worthwhile fraternity, please look us up on the internet or call Trudie Brisson at 604-823-6578 for more information.