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- Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Saint John)
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The Independent Order of Odd Fellows originated in England in the 17th century and spread to North America in the 1840s. An independent Grand Lodge of British North America existed briefly but was dissolved in the 1850s when Canadian lodges came under the control of the Grand Lodge in the United States.
The order is an international fraternal organization which requires of members a belief in a supreme being and the duties of visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, burying the dead, and educating the orphans. Applicants for membership must be over 18 years of age, loyal to their country, and recommended by a current member in good standing.
It is unknown exactly when the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) began in Saint John, New Brunswick, but it was active there by 1871. The meeting hall was located on Germain Street in uptown Saint John. The I.O.O.F. played a significant role in relief efforts after the Great Fire of Saint John, in June 1877, by raising over $4000 through lodges across Canada and the United States. This organization also donated 4 cases of clothing to victims who lost all possessions in the fire. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows lost its meeting hall in the fire. They remained active in Saint John until at least 1985.
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