COVID-19 Update from SGM

From the Office of the
Sovereign Grand Master
Independent Order of Odd Fellows

25 April 2020

To all units of Odd Fellowship:

The safety, health and welfare of our members, workers, and visitors is of the utmost importance to Odd Fellowship. We want you to know that we are monitoring all recommendations and updates from government officials surrounding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The first priority for everyone is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our communities remain healthy.

Lodges that need to be open should take the necessary extra steps to ensure their spaces are clean and safe for the membership and visitors. We want to encourage everyone to follow guidance from public health officials regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette if and when visiting and public spaces. (Many of you are under the direction from state, provincial and city governments to not gather in groups greater than 5 or in some case 10; as well as shelter in place, mask and social distancing.) Be sure to wear your mask.

As stated before: many of our membership are of a mature age and are concerned about both their health and the continuity of their lodge work. I hereby give dispensation for those lodges who feel they need to go dark to do so without penalty for the duration of this pandemic. Be sure to inform your Grand Body office. We have had notice from many of the Grand Bodies that they have either canceled a session for 2020 or have moved to a date in the future of their regular meeting time.

In the meantime, be diligent to call your shut-ins and keep in touch with the active members, be it phone, Facebook, etc.

First and foremost, prioritize and take all health and welfare precautions for yourself and others in your community. Health as a whole depends on working together, and our lodges and communities are the lifeblood of the Order. We want to make sure they continue to stay successful while maintaining appropriate public health safety measures.

s/ E. Wesley Nelson
Sovereign Grand Master

s/ Terry L. Barrett
Sovereign Grand Secretary

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Ainslie is a Tattoo Artist and owner of Vintage Karma in Tuscola, IL. He is an Odd Fellow and founding member and Past Grand of Tuscola #316 which is right above the tattoo studio. Ainslie is also a member of Owl Creek Rebekah #91, Champaign Encampment #68, and Zonar Canton #18, all of Fisher, IL. He is also on the Grand Lodge of IL IOOF Web Committee and the Sovereign Grand Lodge Communications Committee and built/maintains their websites and Facebook Pages and is a founder of the Heart in Hand blog. When he is not tattooing or Odd Fellowing he built/maintains the official website and Facebook page for guitarist G.E. Smith and helps keep the fans connected.

6 thoughts on “COVID-19 Update from SGM

  1. I believe oddfellowship might be for me. I just moved to Eastpointe, MI. And there is a lodge very close by. I’ve always held the morals and ideals stated on this page and have tried to live by them with verying degrees of success. Visiting the sick and helping the distressed could not be more important during this global pandemic. I feel compelled to call and see what I can do to help the community and the lodge.


    1. There is an active Lodge in Eastpointe. The last one on this list.

      You can contact the Grand Lodge of Michigan on that website and they can put you in contact with that Lodge so you can meet them once they start meeting again post Quarantine.

      Hope that helps!
      In FL&T


  2. Curious if my Fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha initiation automatically qualifies for membership in the IOOF? Additionally, my Grandfather A.D. Brown was a member of IOOF in Ennis, Texas, does that qualify as a legacy membership? Is there active IOOF members in the Las Vegas?


    1. Sorry I missed this comment for months! Being a member of another fraternity doesn’t automatically guarantee membership but it definitely gives you a better idea of how things work. Many of our members are multi-generational “legacy” members, which is something we are very proud of. We don’t have a special membership distinction for legacy members but it is still a special thing to be. We have an active Lodge in Las Vegas! Check them out on their Facebook

      Hope that helps!
      In FL&T


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