Bro. Emanuel Supreme Page jr,
NG Wayman Lodge 1339,
Dist.13 Gr. Historian and current National Historian for America and Jurisdiction.
It has been long overdue that I update everyone on what I have been up to.
Firstly, Happy 200th Anniversary to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Happy 176th Anniversary to the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America and Jurisdiction! Second, I am honored to be installed again as the National Grand Historian for the 2019-2021 term!
It is said that to whom much is given, much is expected. I’m here to tell you that it is a fact ! I put at least a few hours of every day into the many facets of research on members, minutes, buildings, bank files, etc. Considering that it’s never been done before, I’d say things are working themselves out and I have experienced a few Eureka moments. Imagine, if you will, researching every name in a textbook. Yikes, now imagine that textbook being fire damaged from 100 years ago, used as a door stop for 15 more years until it was discovered in a barn…..yesterday! Who knew that researching in books would be so dirty (see pics)!
I am honored to do this work, I found my great grand uncle Prince Washington was a member of a Lodge some 100+ years ago. I talk to many Brothers but only a few have familial ties to the Order, so I feel vindicated in a way about this. It’s like I was meant to be here. I have found some of my Brother’s relatives in the Order as well. The more history I find, the more personable the past members become, and thus cements our bond with them. For example, many of the Grand United’s charter members were artists like us, craftsmen like us, visionaries……like us ! My reading and studying of the time period in which they existed broadly exposes their mental agility, whereas history as it was learned in school taught us something different. A new sense of purpose has filled our mental coffers.
The implications of my work are far reaching and I can’t say much about it here, as there are too many subjects to cover, but I promise to keep everyone updated on my findings!
Working with real archivists has me excited about the possibility of returning to college to take up Public History and Cultural Resource Management to further my journey into the preservation of our Order’s history. My Vice Grand is now substituting in the schools and is pursuing certification to teach art! None of this would be happening had we not strived to live up to our oaths as Odd Fellows!
So far we have been successful in establishing new Lodges in Syracuse, N.Y. as well as Atlanta, Georgia. Three by three with FLT to the newly formed Northern Star Lodge #715 as well as St. James Lodge #1455 . We even have prospects of opening Lodges in a couple other countries!
I was invited to attend an event last month covering the Civil Rights experience here in S.C. The title: Justice for All @ University of South Carolina. I was proud that although I didn’t contribute specifically to the displays this time, our predecessors were already present as their work on Civil Rights spoke volumes. Brothers like Ernest A. Finney, who had a display because he defended the Friendship Nine after the first staged sit-ins of the 50s and 60s. I even met and spoke with one of Black History’s Carolina icons Dr. Cleveland Sellers. He was arrested in the aftermath of the Orangeburg Massacre.
I want to say more but I’m sure you’re tired of my ramblings ! I hope that this gives you a little bit of what I currently have going and if you would like to contribute to the research efforts drop me a line! I leave as I came three by three with #FLT!
Bro. Emanuel Supreme Page jr.
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