The Independent Order of Odd Fellows has its roots in the old English craft guilds. It was set up to provide workers and their families with financial and other assistance, at a time when there was no government welfare. The first New Zealand IOOF Lodge was formed in Dunedin in 1862. There followed a big growth of both male (Subordinate) and female (Rebekah) lodges throughout New Zealand. At the height of its membership, there were over 100 NZ lodges. Membership declined after the introduction of the welfare state in the 1930s..
The IOOF is known as a Friendly Society, with basic tenets of friendship, love and truth. It is a non-profit organisation owned by its members, and assists them through providing such things as loans and mortgages, financial and medical plans, and family bereavement plans. It also helps in the personal growth and development of its members, and regularly supports various charities.
Today the Grand Lodge is still based in Dunedin. There are also lodges at Christchurch, Wanganui, Cambridge and Te Aroha.
Visit Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society Limited for more information …
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