Fraternal Order Orioles

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Fraternal Order Orioles is a social and charitable organization that was founded in August 1910. The organization currently consists of about 54 local Nests and affiliated Auxiliaries located in 9 States in the eastern United States.

History[edit]

The Order was founded in Rochester, New York. The Order was originally named the Order of Owls, but another fraternal order of the name had a court issue an injunction against using that name.[1]

At its 1923 convention in Reading, Pennsylvania the delegates voted 241 to 8 for a modification of the Prohibition Amendment that would allow the manufacture of light wine and beers. They also decided to only vote for congressmen who were in favor of such a prohibition.[2]

Organization[edit]

As stated above, local unites are called "Subordinate Nests"; state or provincial groups are called "Grand Nests" and the national structure is the "Supreme Nest", which meets in convention annually. The head of the order is a "Supreme Worthy President" and the head of a local Nest is "Worthy President".[3] In the early 1920s the Order had a $150,000 headquarters in Buffalo, New York.[4] By the 1970s the headquarters had moved to Reading, Pennsylvania.[5]

Membership[edit]

Membership came in three categories: good standing, which made the member eligible for benefits in case of accident; social membership, which was membership without benefits; and honorary membership, which was for people who did not live near a local Nest. Women were eligible to join local auxiliary units connected to the local Nests.[6]

Had 143,000 members in 208 Nests the early 1920s,[7] 12,649 in 1979 in 57 Nests and 10,000 members "about a decade later".[8]

Benefits[edit]

The Order benefits were allocated on an ad hoc basis for sickness, accident or injuries. This was not an insurance function, but more a form of charity that the Order was not obliged to pay.[9]

Ritual[edit]

The Order had a ritual that was meant to be secret. It resembled many of the other fraternal societies of the day, with an altar in the center of the lodge room, a Bible, and prayers. In addition to the Initiatory Degree, there was also a Supreme Degree, both awarded by the Supreme Nest. The FOOs watchwords are liberty, integrity, on the Orders emblem.[10] The order also has passwords, though it does not consider itself a secret society.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Preuss, Arthur A Dictionary of Secret and other Societies St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co. 1924; republished Detroit: Gale Reference Company 1966; p.232
  2. ^ Preuss p.134
  3. ^ Alvin J. Schmidt Fraternal Orders (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press), 1930, p. 249
  4. ^ Preuss p.134
  5. ^ Schmidt p. 250
  6. ^ Schmidt p. 249
  7. ^ Preuss p.134
  8. ^ Alan Axelrod International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997 pp.191-2
  9. ^ Schmidt p. 249
  10. ^ Schmidt p. 249-50
  11. ^ Preuss p.134

External links[edit]