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.
Oregon's Online Sessions
In 2020 almost all Odd Fellowship was put on hold, including most jurisdictional Grand Sessions. For 2021, the jurisdiction of Oregon found some clever and elegant solutions to hold their Grand Lodge, Rebekah Assembly, and Grand Encampment sessions online. Sister Pearlie Stewart, Grand Scribe of the Grand Encampment of Oregon, and Brother Brad Probst, technical coordinator for this year's Sessions, join us to share their experiences and the solutions they found to the challenges of having an online Grand Sessions. Everything from the order of business to the handling of committee work to the installation of officers had to be modified to work within the confines of technology. No aspect of Grand Sessions was affected more than nomination and election of officers. Through it all, Pearlie, Brad, and Grand Secretary Ron Kunze did an excellent job along with the heads of the units to ensure a smooth, functional business meeting. For the Odd Podge, Brothers Toby and Christopher share their adventures visiting the Grand Lodge of Wyoming and Brother Ainslie looks forward to his first in-person lodge meeting since the pandemic hit last year. Note: there's no lodge shout-out again because we haven't received any nominations! Be sure and tell us about lodges doing great work on our website at http://www.threelinksoddcast.com or in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fraternal History in the UK
Prompted by a character in an old episode of Star Trek, Owen Snowdon wanted to grow up and wear a sash. His grandfather, a member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, promised him that one day he would be able to do just that. That dream came true for him at age eighteen. Now, five years later at twenty-three, Owen is a member of several branches of seven different fraternal orders and has become a researcher into the history of fraternal orders (or friendly societies, as they are called) in the UK. Owen tells us about the first fraternity he joined, the aforementioned Antediluvian Buffaloes, the Orange Institute, and several others. As an Odd Fellow of the Manchester Unity he gives some insight into the similarities between the Independent Order in North America and Manchester Unity in the UK. He also gives the early history of Manchester Unity and the Grand United Order and how they were impacted by the religious schisms in British history. He shares a recent discovery, the 1939 War Ritual of the Manchester Unity and talks about how the various fraternal orders bought ambulances as part of the war effort in WWI and WWII. His most mysterious discovery was some records from the Easy Long Johns, a fraternity that apparently only existed in London and Newcastle. For the Odd Podge, Christopher has changed lodges, Ainslie has planned a summer road trip in the Rocky Mountain states, Toby is going to the Grand Lodge of Wyoming, and Owen encourages younger people to join fraternal orders. You can check out Owen's fraternal scholarship on his website at https://fraternalandmasonichistory.weebly.com.
Another New Lodge - Wyoming
George Sliney, a young immigrant from County Cork, Ireland, rode out along Owl Creek in Wyoming Territory in the latter half of the 19th Century and staked a claim that would become his cattle ranch. Over time, he would become one of the most prominent citizens of Hot Springs County and the city of Thermopolis. He was also a member of Thermopolis Lodge #26, IOOF. That obscure footnote of history would eventually inspire Bradyn Harvey and Gage Maser to join the Odd Fellows and revive the charter of Lodge #26, but this time bearing the name of pioneer settler George Sliney. Although it took two years and much searching, Bradyn was eventually able to find PG Steve Masters and join Riverton Lodge #44. Not long after he set about the task of reviving the charter for his home town lodge in Thermopolis. Odd Fellowship is definitely a hot commodity in Wyoming these days as plans are also underway to revive the lodge in Casper. In the Odd Podge, Ainslie gives an update on the progress of the Odd Fellows Primer, Toby gives an update on the project to record new versions of the Odes, and Christopher praises the cleanliness of the bathrooms at Buckley Lodge #75.
What If - There Was A Crossover, Pt. 2
It's another crossover episode with our brothers and friends at Modern Goat Rider! Ours is the second half of the crossover so be sure to download and listen to Episode 29 of Modern Goat Rider to get all the context for this episode of the Three Links Odd Cast. In the first half of the crossover we discuss how Odd Fellowship would have been different today if we had made changes in the past. For our half of the episode, we're guessing about how things would be different going forward if changes were made now. Among the items of speculation: if Abby from NCIS were a member, would she be an Odd Fellow or Rebekah? Is it feasible going forward with three different orders of Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity, GUOOF, and IOOF)? How will lodges be different after COVID? Will there be more embrace of technology? Will they lose members or gain members? Is the isolation of COVID lockdowns and quarantines driving demand for membership? Are our lodges prepared for new members in a post-COVID world? What would be different if local political leaders were members of our lodges? Would that help direct lodge resources to areas of need or would that encourage political discord to enter our lodge halls? Give a listen while we propose how Odd Fellowship could be different going forward. If you've got a response to our conjecture, be sure and share it with us on our website, http://www.threelinksoddcast.com.
About The Rebekahs
The Rebekahs are an important component of Odd Fellowship that frequently gets overlooked when talking about the Order. Prompted by a request from a Rebekah in Texas, we decided to go straight to the top and do an episode with Sister Elizabeth Mowry-Harbstreit, President of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies. Sister Elizabeth is a passionate and knowledgeable Rebekah who gives us a thorough education in the history, development, present, and future of the Rebekahs. She talks about the roots of the Rebekah Degree as an honorary degree restricted to the female relatives of Odd Fellows and how it grew and changed to become an self-guiding unit of Odd Fellowship especially for women. This is a can't-miss episode for anyone with a strong interest in learning more about Odd Fellowship. Note: there is no lodge shoutout this episode because no one nominated a lodge. Be sure and let us know about lodges doing great work at email@example.com so we have a shoutout for future episodes!
Musical Heritage of Odd Fellowship
Odd Fellowship has a long heritage of music, much of which has been forgotten. In this episode we explore the mysteries of the Ode Book and other forgotten pieces of Odd Fellows music. PGP John H. Seiffert, a Lutheran church music director in his professional life, dedicated a large amount of time to compiling the IOOF Odes, published by Sovereign Grand Lodge first in 1877 and then subsequently several times thereafter. The Ode Book includes several settings of the Opening and Closing Ode as well as settings of odes and songs for other lodge occasions such as hall dedications, anniversaries, installations of officers and funerals. The ritual also contains quite a bit of music, especially for the Initiatory Degree. Beyond just the music suggested for lodge use, there was a lot of popular music of the 19th Century written by, for, and about Odd Fellows and we give a survey of that music as well. Settle in for this episode—it's a long one at over two hours. We're sure you will enjoy every minute of it as much as we enjoyed making it.
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.