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.
The Daughters of Rebekah, also known as the Rebekahs are a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was initially designed as the female auxiliary of the IOOF, but now allows both female and male members. It is one of the units of the IOOF, but women need not be related to an Odd Fellow to be a member of the Rebekahs. As long as she meets the moral, ethical and age requirement for admission, any woman may join. In most jurisdictions, women aged 16 or 18 years old and above can join a Rebekah Lodge. The general duties of the members of this unit are, “To live peaceably, do good unto all, as we have opportunity and especially to obey the Golden Rule, Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”
Visit International Association of Rebekah Assemblies for more information …
The remainder of this page is an accumulation of individual jewels …