Capital Lodge #23
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Keeping Austin odd since 1852
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is an international fraternal organization whose purpose is to “Visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” The Odd Fellows are also known as the “Triple Link Fraternity” which represents “Friendship, Love and Truth.”
Before the social safety net of LBJ’s Great Society initiatives, the only funding for old-folks homes, hospitals, and orphanages was from charitable organizations. In the first two centuries of the United States, men’s clubs and fraternal orders provided amusement, collegiality, and—most importantly—funding to provide services for society’s most vulnerable. The Lion’s Club, Rotary, Elks Lodge, Masons, Shriners, and the Odd Fellows raised money and built America’s hospitals and orphanages. In the 21st century these fraternal organizations are less prevalent; however, they still enjoy a modest membership—and they continue to do good works in their local communities.
Here in Austin we have a small Lodge that enjoys the camaraderie of brotherhood. Many of the brothers have been members for decades; but the Lodge enjoys--and encourages--new members, as well.
We help each other by taking a vow to treat each other with respect and love. We help the community by combining our individual resources for the greater good. Pictured above, you see our brothers financially supporting two local children's homes.
In the 21st century our charter is as important as it was in the 19th century; however, Odd Fellowship also provides an old-fashioned respite from modernity: It is a opportunity to meet face-to-face with brothers every week, a luxury in our modern world of "virtual" relationships.
And an added bonus: Each Lodge meeting begins with a reminder that we do not discuss politics!