The Three Links Odd Cast is an exploration of and discussion about issues in Odd Fellowship for members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It provides a fun, light-hearted look at the history, traditions, customs, and practices of Odd Fellowship as well as an examination of where the fraternal order is today. NOTE: there will be *NO* discussion of The Unwritten Work or any of the signs, grips, or passwords of Odd Fellowship.
Brother Mike Duminiak of West Virginia joins us as we reconvene for the new year to tell the story of the Patriarchs Militant. This oft-ignored branch of Odd Fellowship provides some surprising opportunities and does some very interesting work. Brother Mike is a passionate and articulate supporter and gives us a comprehensive look at the history, origins, development, and current practices of the Patriarchs Militant, from the Canton level all the way up to the General Military Council. Through his stories, we get to meet John Underwood, developer of the Patriarchs Militant Degree and first General Commanding of the branch. We also get a look at how the uniforms have changed through the years, from 19th Century finery to more contemporary styles. He gives us a glimpse of the drills, practices, and procedures that make Canton attendance engaging. The Shoutout goes to Ellensburg Lodge #20 of Washington, for having just initiated twenty-one new members in December. In the Odd Podge, Toby talks about his upcoming lecture to the California Membership Seminar, Ainslie shares his latest eBay score—a membership-retention handbook from Pennsylvania, most likely from the post-WWII era—and new co-host Scott Moye talks about his renewed Covid hermitage and the book he's reading. Brother Mike also corrects the show's erroneous grasp of the geography of West Virginia.
Christmas Episode II
Toby and Ainslie take a nostalgic look back at the past year in Odd Fellows podcasting and revisit some of the topics they covered. Brother Nick Curry of Chester Lodge #281 in Virginia gives an update on the lodge's progress and how they're reforging bonds with the community that were lost when the lodge closed. Ainslie and Toby also give a sneak peak at some of the coming year's topics and guests.
The Sun Never Sets On Fraternalism
Medieval English Craft Guilds were the wellspring of modern fraternalism. From those original attempts to protect trade secrets, educate artisans, and assist members and their families, an amazing variety of fraternal orders has developed. Those fraternal groups would have remained solely in the land where they began had it not been for the subsequent spread of British influence and culture across the globe. Fraternal researcher Owen Snowdon joins us again to tell stories of how the British Empire spread fraternalism around the globe. Some of the highlights of the episode include an Orange Order lodge which was chartered in a cave during the Crimean War; another Orange Order lodge chartered by members of the Mohawk Nation in Ontario, Canada; an RAOB lodge chartered by British POWs in Imperial Japan during WWII; multiple RAOB lodges chartered by British servicemen in West Germany during the Cold War; and several lodges which were held on both military and civilian ships. The Lodge Shoutout goes to Örebrohus Lodge #87 in Örebro, Sweden, which celebrated its centennial on December 10th. For the Odd Podge, Toby talked about his associate lodge and their newfound interest in Degree Work, Ainslie promoted the new hardcover collector's edition of the "Odd Fellows Primer," and Christopher wished everyone a warm holiday greeting.
Those interested in more of Brother Owen Snowdon's fraternal research can find him on Facebook by searching "fraternal and Masonic history" or by visiting his website at http://fraternalandmasonichistory.weebly.com.
Rebirth In Northern Illinois
Amidst the fields of corn, soy, and wheat, there's something else growing in Northern Illinois: Odd Fellowship. Brother Ray Jackson of Ottawa Lodge #41 shares his story of how the members of Century Lodge #492 in Carpentersville spread out across the northern part of Illinois reviving struggling lodges and renewing the spirit of Odd Fellowship. SPOILER ALERT: there's no one, main secret to their success. With each lodge being different, they members first had to dig into that community and find out what worked for the locals and then build on it. Ray goes into great detail about how that worked and the kinds of successes they have had. He also tells of the process of reviving his current home lodge, Ottawa #41, including climbing in through the window and the moldy hall. The Shoutout goes to Themis Lodge #75 of Louisiana on the occasion of their first anniversary. For the Odd Podge, Brother Ainslie talks about the Art Fellows at his lodge in Tuscola, IL who meet regularly to make art. Brother Toby thanks his home lodge, Ballard-Alki #170 of Seattle, for the reception they gave in his honor after having served as Sovereign Grand Musician.
Building The Grand United Order
With a strong interest in history, esotericism, and philosophy, it was only a matter of time before Asean Malik Bey found his way to Odd Fellowship. That first encounter happened at a friend's martial arts studio and, since that time, Brother Bey has launched a career as an Odd Fellow organizer, historian, and scholar. A member of Teoronto #8 of the IOOF and Northern Star #715 of the GUOOF, he shares his personal journey to Odd Fellowship and some of the creative solutions he's used to help build his GUOOF lodge like having the brothers provide security for community events, partnering with the local Rotary chapter, and renting out the meeting room at Dunkin' Donuts on Friday nights to do community outreach. He also shares his background in esoteric philosophy and historical collecting. Brother Christopher returns from his sabbatical (it wasn't where he claimed in the episode) and tells us in the Odd Podge of his excitement over watching the World Cup final on his birthday in 2022. Brother Toby talks about initiating new members in Eastern Washington while Brother Ainslie shares his lodge's most recent degree work. The Lodge Shoutout goes to the members of Lebanon Lodge #1 of Beirut, Lebanon, some of whom got to visit Ontario recently.
Thinking Like An Odd Fellow
More than a decade ago, Scott Moye was just your average historian in Arkansas. Fueled by a desire and curiosity to be a part of a fraternal order, he started looking around and researching and eventually landed on the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. That journey eventually lead him to scholarship and the authorship of his new book, Think Like An Odd Fellow. During this episode, Brother Scott describes his process of researching the book and digging deep into the history of Odd Fellows' philosophy and beliefs. Along the way he found some amazing philosophies and beliefs which he has updated to make them easily accessible to a contemporary audience. He also talks some about some of the less savory parts of our history which he encountered in his research. Brother Scott shares how he's applied some of the philosophies outlined in his book, including in his prior career as an educator. Since Toby and Scott are accordionists in addition to being Odd Fellows, accordion talk eventually intrudes on the conversation, along with some discussion of the frustration that new members eventually experience in lodge. The Lodge Shoutout goes to a success story, Osage Lodge #712 of Pennsylvania, which was featured in our "Saving Lodges In Pennsylvania" episode. They were saved and now have thirteen members and are running a fundraiser selling Odd Fellows rings. For more information on the rings, email Treas.Lodge712@gmail.com. For the Odd Podge, Toby shares about his upcoming trip to Eastern Washington to initiate some new members hoping to rebuild Odd Fellowship in that part of the state, Ainslie talks about his recent TV experience, and Scott hints at his next project in Odd Fellowship.
Giving Odd Fellows the recognition they deserve
I look forward to this broadcast every week. The topics covered so far are important and informative, and are presented in an amusing and self-deprecating way. It also presents facts tidbits about Odd Fellowship that are interesting to non-members and members alike. Keep it up, Brothers and Sisters!
This podcast has become a source of pride for me as an Odd Fellow. This is a great window for those interested in learning about the current state of the Order. The hosts are very knowledgeable and have done a great job bringing in guests from all over.
Episode one was a good start. Interested in seeing how the next few will go now that the group has introduced themselves. One shocking takeaway is how lax lodges can be in regards to those interested in joining. Makes one wonder, how many potential members have been lost because of a lack of follow-up or proper communication chain.