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Grand United Order of Oddfellows
Image: Banner - Grand United Order of Oddfellows
Source: Museum Victoria
The Grand United Order of Oddfellows (GUOOF) was established in England in the late 18th century when groups of independent lodges merged to become branches of this larger organisation. Belonging to a brotherhood which had thousands of members around the world allowed members to feel more secure in their membership. In those early days, members typically met in Inns, where they gathered for social and business purposes.
The Grand United Order of Oddfellows was established in Australia in 1848, with the first Grand Master of the Order being Brother James Reid (1794-1869). In 1854, the Port Phillip District of Grand United separated from the NSW branch to establish Grand United in Victoria. During the First and Second World Wars, many Grand United members enlisted for Active Service, and as with many other friendly societies, funds were created to provide for the medical benefits of serving members and their families.
In 1948, to commemorate the centenary of Grand United, the Grand United Centenary Centre - Homes for Aged Members (now Constitution Hill) - was opened. In 1985 GUOOF Victoria merged with Manchester Unity and members who wished to continue with the fraternal aspect of their membership were invited to join Manchester Unity. Like other Oddfellow societies including Manchester Unity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), Grand United had various ceremonies, rituals, regalia and levels of membership.
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Australia Mint: Stokes and Sons Gold/ enamel medal manufactured by Stokes and Sons, Melbourne on behalf of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, Friendly Society.From: Melbourne, Australia Images: 0
Cedar ballot box. The Grand Order of Oddfellows used the ballot box when voting about the suitability or otherwise of a proposed new member. Members placed either a white or black marbl ...From: Melbourne, Australia Images: 1