Definitions for oddfellows
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The name Oddfellows refers to a number of friendly societies and fraternal organisations operating in the United Kingdom. It also refers to a number of Lodges with histories dating back to the 18th century. These various organisations were set up to protect and care for their members and communities at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions or National Health Service. The aim was to provide help to members and communities when they need it. The friendly societies are non-profit mutual organisations owned by their members. All income is passed back to the members in the form of services and benefits. The Oddfellows are also fundraisers for both local and national charities; branches raise money for local causes, and the Societies as a whole raise significant amounts for charities.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the name of several friendly societies. The Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, is the largest and most important of the number, its membership is over 665,000, and its funds amount to £8,000,000. It has been the pioneer in many important movements of the kind, several of the provisions now compulsory on all societies it observed of its own accord, prior to their enactment; the actuarial tables compiled from its statistics in 1845 by its secretary, Henry Radcliffe, are still a standard work. The Grand United Order of Oddfellows has a membership of 241,000, and funds amounting to £882,000; the National Independent Order of Oddfellows embraces 58,000 members, and has £242,000.
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