The independent order of odd Fellows (IOOF) also known as the ‘Three Link Fraternity, is an altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the similar British Oddfellows service organizations which came into being during the 1700s, at a time when altruistic and charitable acts were far less common.
Several theories aim to explain the meaning of the name “Oddfellows”. One says that they were called ‘Odd’ because in the beginning of Odd Fellowship in the 18th century, at the time of industrialization, it was rather odd to find people who followed noble values such as benevolence, charity and fraternalism. A variation on that theory status: The Odd Fellows, at least according to one story, got its curious name from the fact that it was a lodge that opened its doors to the working class, who at that time did not ordinarily belong to fraternal orders – and were thus ‘Odd’.
Member’s duties were to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan. The aims of the fellowship were to foster the society and elevate the character of man b bringing forth the principles of friendship, brotherly love and truth. It was only by joining mutual friendly societies like the Odd Fellows that ordinary people could insure themselves and their families against illness, injury or death.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) was established in NSW in 1863 and Melbourne in 1846. The Loyal Colac Lodge (IOOF), instituted on 6th August 1863, had architect Andrew Hamilton design the Odd Fellows Hall and in 1870 it was built at a cost of £700 with the hope that it would help to foster the society. Documents relevant to the order were placed and remain under the foundation stone and that evening a grand soiree and ball was held in the large storeroom of the Polwarth Flour Mill. The hall was renovated in 1891 and continued to be used as a community hall hosting movie showings, plays, dances, concerts, badminton competitions, wedding breakfasts, auctions and boxing tournaments until the early 1970s when it was converted by Lionel Lovekin and Bob Gladman to Ray Duff Penelworks which had been operating in Colac since 1941.
In the first half of the last century the hall was home to an overflow of patients from the Colac Hospital during outbreaks of Influenza and Diphtheria.
In 1999 Duffs Café was opened by Tony and Kathy Mahoney after extensive renovation, which leads us to today where we have become Oddfellows Restaurant, Bar and Café where we propose the noble values of the original Odd Fellowship – “Friendship, Love and Truth”
for any kind of bookings, private meeting, party, function or hire the entire venue
Great food, awesome service, friendly staff and wonderful ambience. Oddfellows posses all the qualities of a great restaurant. Once a casual one timer, I am now a regular here. I love Oddfellows.
Thoroughly enjoyed my last evening at Oddfellows. Their Cajun Spice Chicken Fillet is simply out of this world. I am still savoring the aftertaste as I write this. We meet again soon enough Oddfellows
For the last few months, whenever we decide to eat out, we go to Oddfellows. My kids just love their Maple Syrup & Ice Cream, while we enjoy their continental offerings. The staff friendly and the ambience perfect, Oddfellows literally has everything. I highly recommend them to everyone.