(FULL COLOR HARDBACK EDITION) Evolving from the English trade guilds and journeymen associations nearly 300 years ago, Odd Fellowship was once the largest fraternal organization in the world. During a time when the world was evolving as new lands were still being explored and new nations were forming, as pioneers were beginning to conquer new lands, and governmental policies were in the process of being formulated, the Odd Fellows were an important part of that evolution. In fact, Odd Fellowship contributed greatly to the early development of many towns, cities, states, provinces and countries.
As the early American settlers began moving westward on their covered wagons, the Odd Fellows in small towns united with one another and established Lodges across the country. These Lodges were able to develop a sense of community and provided help to its members during those times when governments provided little social and welfare assistance. Furthermore, Lodge rituals taught the important lessons of civic responsibility and equality before laws could be enacted to maintain social order. Many of the early members of Odd Fellows were the pioneer leaders of several towns, cities, states, provinces, and nations. Eventually, membership included presidents, prime ministers, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors and notable people in their respective fields. They spoke out on issues of international, national, and local interest. As the Lodges grew, they built Odd Fellows buildings in new communities and these buildings soon became social centers where people met to relax and to exchange the latest news and ideas. The Odd Fellows were the forerunners of homes for the aged and orphanages. They are also the predecessors of the Social Security System and National Health Insurance. At that time, Odd Fellows literally touched the lives of millions of people, following its tenets to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan."
The fraternal organization has survived many wars and major world challenges. It came to America aboard a wooden sailing vessel, in the hands of Thomas Wildey, and the organization had been around to witness the building of the first railroad, the first automobile, the first movie, the first radio and television broadcasts, the first submarine, the first guided missile, the first miracle drug, the first airplane, the first space ship, the first computer, and the introduction of the internet. Odd Fellowship was the social network for many people long before the Internet was born. It served communities long before the birth of other service clubs and modern charitable foundations. It had connected and promoted understanding between people from different nationalities before the United Nations was established, and it even partnered with the United Nations for many years to educate young students in world affairs. Odd Fellowship rose to its most glorious time when members actively participated, and in many occasions led, in the development of communities and nations. People recognized the value of Odd Fellowship, and they reciprocated by becoming members of a Fraternity with the prime objective, "Improving Character, Making Friends, and Helping People "