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Sash - Irish National Foresters, after 1877 Object Reg. No: SH 921346

Green sash from the Irish National Foresters.The initials P.C.R. stand for Past Chief Ranger. The gold harp is the crest of the Irish National Foresters, while I.N.F is their initials.

The Irish National Foresters Organisation began in 1877 as a breakaway from the parent Order of Foresters which was set up in England by serfs. Because they could not meet openly, they gathered in dense forest and gave names associated with forestry to their leaders. The self-help Order of Foresters gave the title of Chief Ranger and Assistant Chief Ranger to the men at the top, and members of the executive of local branches were called Woodward, Beadle and other names associated with their secret meeting places. The I.N.F grew rapidly and soon became the largest friendly society in Ireland. It supported Irish nationalism and its constitution called for 'government for Ireland by the Irish people in accordance with Irish ideas and Irish aspirations'. The rules of the I.N.F were those of the parent body. It is non-sectarian, non-political and there is no class distinction. It is a mutual aid society, established to help members in distress and the relatives of members who have died.
Pale emerald green sash attached at both ends by a gold thread button. The edges are bordered by an embroidered gold thread pattern. Two stitched cables run parallel to a wavy stitched cable in between the two cables. The crest of the Irish National Foresters - a gold thread embroidered harp - is in the centre. There are initials above the crest and three gold thread embroidered clovers (three leafed) and initials below the crest. At each end are gold corded tassels.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Irish National Foresters' Friendly Society
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 148.00 cm (Height), 14.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: friendly societies, religions roman catholic, ceremonial costumes
Themes this item is part of: Irish National Foresters, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: SOCIETIES
Secondary Classification: Friendly
Tertiary Classification: regalia
Inscriptions: Inscribed in gold thread: P.C.R./ [harp] /I.N.F./ [3 clovers entwined].
User: Irish National Foresters' Friendly Society, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, post 1877


catherine Posted on 11 Feb 2010 3:16 AM
where di they get the inf name from especially the foresters
Discovery Centre Posted on 11 Feb 2010 12:52 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Catherine. This item was donated by the Irish National Foresters' Friendly Society. Societies like this were quite active, at the turn of the 20th century. There's some more information about friendly societies here: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O245-friendlysocieties.html
Gerard O'Connor Posted on 02 Feb 2011 4:29 AM
I was a former High Chief Ranger.The correct term for P.C.R. is Past Chief Ranger.Our Branch name is "Con of the 100 Battles we have been in existance since 1899 and still going strong
john sinclair Posted on 08 Jun 2011 7:46 PM
my grandfather was a member, I have his sash
but no information of his involvement in the
Paul O'Connor Posted on 03 Sep 2011 10:23 AM
My Grandfather was also a Chief Ranger. His photo with all his committee now hangs in the Historical Society Hall for safe keeping. Nothing else is really known about them except they had a good football team up until 1964 when they merged with other teams to become what is now the Werribee FC. Recently, I was in the I.N.F Club in Belfast N.I. I had a very good chat with Mr. Sean Feeney - High Chief Ranger of all Ireland. He showed me some relics including a Celtic Cross hand carved by "...our boys in the Maze Prison..." together with their names. There is too much to tell here about our conversation. But he admitted also, that the I.N.F (like many clubs) is slowly declinning, and he too needs to find an Historical Society to keep all the I.N.F's things in. But the fellas in the Belfast Club were stunned when I told them about the I.N.F in Australia, they had no idea, and when I mentioned the I.N.F Football Club, they were taken aback completely and were very interested to know more. I told him I would keep in contact from now on. I think it may be something of a nice importance to keep this connection. Gerard O'Connor, are you also in Australia? And John Sinclair, you are very lucky to have your Grandads sash, are you also in Australia? I'd like to hear from you both. Thank You
Paul O'Connor Posted on 04 Sep 2011 1:04 PM
I should clarify that I was quoting Mr Feeney in the comment above regarding the boys in the Maze. These were not my words. Thank You.
Gerry Devlin - Current High Chief Ranger of All Ireland Posted on 25 Jul 2012 7:59 AM
Hi Paul, I was elected High Chief Ranger of All Ireland at the Society's Annual Convention in Belfast last year. Whilst preparng for this years event which is due to take place in Killybegs Co Donegal at the beginning of August I stumbled across your comments. You cannot begin to imagine my surprise at learning that our Society had extended to Australia. From your comments I note that as a result of your meeting with Past High Chief Ranger Bro Sean Feeny (PHCR) you are aware that the organisation in Ireland has significantly declined over the past number of years. It is therfore very exciting to learn that that Society is active at the opposite side of the world. I would like to learn more about the INF in Australia, for example are there currently any actve Branches if so perhaps you could provide me with some details. I would also be keen to find our more about the memorabilia which is stored with the Historical Society. For your information I am also Chief Ranger of my local Branch - Branch John O'Neill which is located n Hilltown, Co Down. Thank you
Jennifer Mullin Posted on 05 Oct 2012 11:51 PM
I first heard of the INF when I found a Probate Package which included assets of: 20 pounds for "Funeral Allowance, The Irish National Foresters' Society".
I would be interested to know more about the Society in Victoria, and possibly why our ancestor (Great grandfather / or Great Uncle)would have joined the Society. Could this mean he was from Ireland??
steve mckinley Posted on 01 Nov 2012 10:32 AM
my great grandfather francis mckinley was a CR in kilbirnie scotland in the late 19th and early 20th century I would love to know where I could find out more about their history
Mike Roddy Posted on 27 Jan 2013 11:35 PM
I have several members of my family that were active in the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters, and one in the Irish National Foresters. The MCOF has wonderful records of these family members, but I have not found any reference to the INF records that may exist. I am looking for any genealogy records that might exist on my ancestors prior to their arrival in America.

Do these records exist?
thank you
Robert O'Dubhghaill Posted on 10 Feb 2013 1:18 PM
My late grandfather is also a member of the Irish National Foresters. His name is John Norton and he was a proud Irishman born and bred in Athlone, Co. Westmeath where he lived until he passed on at the age of 92. He lived through Easter 1916, and the 1922 Free State. He dreamed of seeing Ireland united. God bless you grandad.
Fiona Donovan Posted on 08 Mar 2013 12:21 PM
We believe that my great grandfather, John J O'Donovan of Cobh (then known as Queenstown), County Cork was a member of the Irish National Foresters. He was a wealthy master boot maker and ships chandler in Cobh. He died in August 1922 in his 80's. Is there anywhere that I can go to find out when he joined and if he had a leadership role? Thanks.
Discovery Centre Posted on 20 Mar 2013 3:07 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Fiona,

You could try the Irish National Foresters Friendly Society,13/50 Market St, Melbourne VIC 3004, Phone:1300 858 162.
You may also wish to contact the Public Records Office and the State Library of Victoria.
Rosemary Kennedy Posted on 01 Apr 2013 6:20 AM
My father James Crossey(RIP) was a member of the Canon McGeown Branch 1108 in Moy Co Tyrone.I well remember many of the All Ireland Conventions we as a family attended in the 60's & 70's in Tullamore Carlow Navan Killybegs.In Carlow I remember seeing for the first time the members dressed in the Foresters uniform. There were the Purcell's whose son used to lead the members in parade and he riding a white horse.These are wonderful memories of my father that I cherish. He was so proud to belong to the INF.
Stephen Cullen Posted on 19 Apr 2013 8:43 PM
My grandfather, Simon Patrick Cullen was Chief ranger in Drogheda, Co. Louth. He died before I was born but I am very interested in finding out as much as I can. I'm doing the family history project
Terry Frolich Posted on 25 Aug 2013 2:38 AM
My grandfather was a member of the Bryan Dillon Branch, #133, in Cork City back around the turn of the 20th Century. I have his sash and am going to donate it to the Cork City Museum as they do not have too much history due to the trouble times.
Majella Claire Devlin Posted on 16 Jan 2014 9:54 PM
Dear all, in particular Mr Gerry Devlin, my great grandfather William Lawlor was a Chief Ranger with the INF and he emigrated to Melbourne, where I believe he was the first Chief Ranger in Melbourne, Victoria. We have a portrait of him in his regalia. including the sash. We know very little more about him but would very much like to know more.
Geoffrey Dummett Posted on 04 May 2014 11:11 PM
I just found an old portrait photo of my grandfather Stuart Moffat during a cleanup at my mother's home,it was either the original or a copy of the photo used in the portrait you have their at the museum, this is the link, http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/717082/illuminated-address-presented-to-g-r-o-callaghan-irish-national-foresters-friendly-society-25-jul-1934
Sarah Marshall Posted on 20 Nov 2014 5:00 AM
My late uncle left me a sash from Forresters belonging to my Grandfather and I would like to donate to any organisation that would like it !!!!!! as it lies in my wardrobe and I don't know what to do with it .
Thank you .
barry slater Posted on 06 Feb 2015 10:57 PM
could you help me out with this sash please
Ann bartley Posted on 19 May 2015 6:29 AM
Hi,my dad was Frank Rafferty and was a member of the Navan branch we also did the trips,did each member have their own number?I would also like to know which branch was 23916

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