Sovereign Grand Master Membership Program

Office of the Sovereign Grand Master

The Sovereign Grand Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows

To All My Fraternal Brothers and Sisters of All Units of Odd Fellowship,

September 2006


Brothers and Sisters, the evening of August 24th I was installed into the office of the Sovereign Grand Master with a deep sense of gratitude to our members everywhere, a profound feeling of humility and a strong determina­tion to make a difference while serving our great Order this year.

Over the next few months you will receive a lot of information about the state of our Order in North America. I am positive that you also will be concerned that we are losing lodges by the dozens every year and that we have been losing Grand Bodies, and more could go within a short period. This condition can be reversed – if we take action now, and I believe that you will want to do your part. We cannot wait any longer! We will work in unity with you and your Grand Lodges and Rebekah Assemblies to develop and implement plans to improve our situa­tion, identify and assign those actions that must happen and let you know how each of you can contribute to our efforts. And, you can contribute! Every one of you have some strengths, some things you can do very well, and we ask that you use those strengths and join the team to make Odd Fellowship become the best that it can be.

We will be working to move the membership program into your lodge room because only you can get new members for your lodge. There will be some training that will be available shortly to help you in that program. A new full color membership recruiting brochure should also be available this fall and over the coming year we will send several letters directly to you in the lodge room to provide you with developing information. We will also use the fraternal newspapers, internet, telephone, face-to-face meetings and any other means we can find to use in pro­viding information to you.

I am asking each of you to "Commit to 2 – and Renew" our Order in North America, thus "Securing the Future of Odd Fellowship." Please commit to bringing 2 new members into your local Unit. It can be done! We have many lodges doing just that. You will have to be well known in your community to be successful and you can do that by committing to working on 2 projects all the time; one for the Order and one for the community. If you think you do not have enough members to do that, "link your world to your lodge;" ask your neighbors, people from your church, your friends and family to volunteer their time in support of you. Run your projects from your lodge. Bring people into your lodge room to plan and implement the projects. Get them interested in what you have in that room, and get them asking questions. You will get candidates!

If we place our trust in God and do the right thing for Odd Fellowship, we will thrive.

Sincerely in F. L. & T.,

Robert J. Robbins


  On July 13th Jamestown Lodge #352 of Arkansas was formally reinstated as a rebirth lodge after being closed for many years.  Brother Ken Palikij from Ben Hur Rebirth Lodge #870 accepted the assignment of riding 8 hours to represent the rebirth lodges here in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Brother Ken was met by Grand Master and brother of the great state of Arkansas Chuch Alt.  This Grand Master is a go getter and is working very very hard to reestablish lodges across his state.  Brother Ken attended the ceremony and offered words of congratualtions and encouragement to the new members that are willing to accept the responsibilities and duties of reestablishing a rebirth lodge.  The brothers of Century Lodge are having rebirth lodge shirts made up and will be sent out in the beginning of October as an offer of congratulations and support.

Mineola-Pacific Lodge #125 New York

The brothers of Mineola-Pacific Lodge #125 have sadly reported the sale of their building.  They were forced into sale as the property taxes exceeded $55,000.00 per year.  Although the membership worked hard on maintaining the funding required to operate the building the tax had finally taken its toll.  According to them State and Local governments don't want to have fraternal organizations around anymore since they can't get any tax reform. 

This issue strikes hard to the core of many of our Oddfellow lodges across the United States.  Although a shame,  our New York brothers have the crust to get back on their feet.  We sincerely wish them the best from Century Lodge and all the Rebirth Lodges. 

 Congratulations to Brother Carmine Manzolillo on completing a successful year as Grand Master of the State of New York. 

 Congratulations also to Brother Richard Backofen for his appointment as District Deputy Grand Master of Nassau District.  Brother Richard has always been a pivotable member of Mineola Lodge.

Congratulations to Brother Vinny Bila, formerly of Mineola Lodge #125, in honor of his elected position as Grand Warden for the State of Florida.