The Protestant Alliance Friendly Society of Australia operated in many states of Australia, with branches in many towns and districts. The motto of the society was “Fear God, Love the Brotherhood, Honor the King”. Like most friendly societies, one of the benefits of membership was to receive payments to assist during illness and, in the event of a member’s death, payments toward funeral expenses and pensions to support the member’s widow and children. Although membership was initially only open to adult men, later women and juveniles were later permitted to join the society
The Protestant Alliance Friendly Society of Australasia was established in 1872, and registered under the Friendly Societies Act in 1912. Its membership was restricted to practicing Protestants. It was governed by a Grand Council of Representatives elected by district Lodges.
Woodford Lodge, Number 97 was formed on the 10.11.1932, we think the meeting was held in the Diggers Hall. New members were initiated at their first meeting. Woodford Historical President, Mr Ron Trim was a member and Secretary for 15 years, however refuses to divulge what the initiation process was. Meetings were held every two weeks. On the 7.7.1938 Lodge was held in a shed at Fredin’s Sawmill. A block of land was purchased on the corner of Coronation Ave and Elizabeth St in 1944 for £24. The Government’s introduction of the National Health Scheme saw the demise of the Friendly Societies.
Those who attended the first meeting were:
William Cobb age 40 Leather Worker Isabella Cobb age 39 Wife Iris Cobb age 16 Home Duties Henry J Pressward age 25 Methodist Minister Phillip K Giles age 28 Labourer Phyllis Hobbs age 16 Home Duties Anders Fredin age 20 Sawmiller Charles Elliott age 24 Carpenter Alfred Hobbs age 21 labourer Alexander Caseldine age 20 Dairy Farmer HW Cobb age 17 Leather Worker William Van Cootern School Master ex No1 Lodge Henry Thornton age 20 Dairy Farmer Ivy Hobbs age 18 Home Duties Leslie Ferris age 20 Farrier
At the Museum we are fortunate to have these items on display from the Lodge