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MEMBERSHIP AND ACCUMULATED FUNDS OF REGISTERED ORDINARY FRIENDLY SOCIETIES AND ADULT MALE MEMBERS AND ACCUMULATED FUNDS OF THREE PRINCIPAL AFFILIATED ORDERS FOR CERTAIN YEARS.
[Source: Twelfth Abstract of Labor Statistics of the United Kingdom, pp. 179, 180, and 182.)
Odd Fellows, Man
Ancient Order of
Members. (a) Funds.(0) Members. (a) Funds.(0) Members. (6) Funds.(o)
1897..15, 107,724 $145, 677,948 1902.. 5,608, 802 177,367, 155 1905.. 15,899, 918 204, 125, 980 1907.. (c)
698,328 $40, 180, 204
656,919 $25,926, 162
119, 169 $3,848, 657 152, 505 3,904,524 175, 639 4,972, 351 192,502 5,677, 444
a Exclusive of foreign branches.
A statement showing the number of societies, the total and average membership, and the total and per capita funds of ordinary friendly societies making returns for 1905, grouped in classes according to their size for each of the principal divisions of the United Kingdom, concludes this summary presentation of the importance of this agency of the industrial classes in the matter of self-help and mutual protection.
TOTAL AND AVERAGE MEMBERSHIP AND TOTAL AND PER CAPITA FUNDS OF ORDI. NARY FRIENDLY SOCIETIES MAKING REPORT FOR 1905, BY SIZE AND BY TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS.
(Source: Reports of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies, 1906. Part A, Appendix N, Section XI,
Societies with branches..
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity. Without attempting to review the growth of the orders as a class, the Manchester Unity, the most prominent representative of this group, may be considered briefly. As a distinctive body it dates from about the year 1810, minutes of lodges of the Manchester Unity for the year 1814 being in existence.
Whatever measure of success attended the earlier efforts of the unity must be attributed to other influences than the power of legal restraint, since in 1836, in a suit for the recovery of dues by expelled members, the order was declared to have no legal status.
This condition was not remedied until 1850, when the funds of the lodges were for the first time brought within the protection of the law of the land.
A resolution calling for annual financial statements from subordinate lodges was adopted in 1844 in the face of great opposition, but recalcitrant lodges disobeyed, suffering the penalty of suspension, nearly 16,000 members being thus debarred for a time from fellowship with the unity. The disclosures as to financial conditions led to efforts to regulate the maintenance of adequate funds, and a large number of lodges withdrew, forming subsequently the National Independent Order of Odd Fellows. These various difficulties, together with other causes, led to a large reduction of numbers, the membership falling from 249,261 in 1848 to 234,490 in 1849, and to 224,878 in 1850.
At this time an actuarial basis of the order was being determined by the preparation of tables based on the returns of the society for the three years 1846 to 1848. The registration of rules likewise began in 1851. Contributions graduated according to ages superseded uniform contributions, by the action of the annual committee of 1853, thus taking a most important step toward securing the solvency of the lodges. These changes, together with the previously adopted requirement of a separation of benefit funds from others, went far toward accomplishing what had been the object of a farseeing group of members for a number of years, though their efforts could not even then be relaxed, as appears more fully in the account of the various inquiries and computations made in the effort to secure correct actuarial data for the guidance of the order.
An effort was made to register a rule adopted by the annual conference of 1862 to the effect that the rules of the unity should “be binding on every branch and every member of the society,” but the registrar refused registration, and this effort at uniformity for the sake of safeguarding the various branches was thwarted until after the report of the royal commission of 1871. The need of such a rule was made more evident than ever before at the time of the first general valuation of the society in 1871, which showed a total deficiency
in the order of £1,360,677 ($6,621,735), while the few societies showing a surplus could foot up a total surplus of but £17,230 ($83,850). The principles of valuation were so misconceived by many societies that it was almost impossible to convince them of their true condition, since they were satisfied with mere current solvency, disregarding the effect of contracts to mature when increased ages would involve heavier expenditures for benefits promised. In spite of these facts, the royal commission commended the Manchester Unity as foremost among the orders by reason of the successive steps taken to attain financial security.
Effectiveness is now given to the acts of the annual movable conference by a rule which provides that “Every branch of this society, and every
member thereof, shall be bound by these rules, and by any amendment thereof duly registered, which amendment shall apply to all members, present or future, and whether in actual receipt of benefit or not at the time such amendment is registered.” Rates of contributions and benefits must follow one or more of the tables published by the unity, or some other table or tables which have been certified by the actuaries of the order, and sanctioned by the board of directors." Centralization is not extended so far as to prevent secession, but the method of secession is prescribed, and it has been established by the courts that the procedure thereby established must be complied with before a seceding society can set itself up independently of the order. These requirements, in so far as they are likely to give rise to difficulty in their enforcement, relate to the adjustment of the financial relations existing between the central body and the seceding branch.
The numerical growth of the Manchester Unity has not been without its fluctuations, as already indicated, but it has been in the main steady and at times rapid. From its origin in the early part of the second decade of the last century, it grew to a membership of 31,042 in 1832; twenty-five years later it had increased to 229,049. On January 1, 1870, there were 434,100 members; January 1, 1885, 593,850; January 1, 1900, 819,567; and on January 1, 1908, 879,969.
In regular course an individual member belongs to a lodge; united, the lodges form districts, from which representatives, known as deputies, are chosen to constitute the governing body of the unity, or annual movable conference. In cases of insolvency of lodges, or of their expulsion or secession, their members who fulfill or comply with certain prescribed conditions may become district members. So, also, where a district closes and divides its funds, secedes, or is expelled its members may be attached directly to the unity. The relations of the various constituents to the unity may be briefly indicated by noting the objects to be attained by each. Thus, the objects of the society are declared to be
To provide by entrance fees, contributions of the members, fines, donations, levies, and interest on capital
(a) For insuring a sum of money to be paid on the death of a member, or for the funeral expenses of a member's wife or child, or the widow or children of a deceased member.
(aa) For insuring a sum of money to be paid on the birth of a member's child.
(6) For the relief or maintenance of the members, or in the cases hereinafter, or in the rules of any branch provided, the wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, or wards being orphans of members, during sickness or other infirmity, whether bodily or mental, in old age, or in widowhood.
(c) For the relief or maintenance of the orphan children of members during minority.
(d) For providing proper medicine and medical attendance for members.
(e) For granting temporary assistance to the widows and children of deceased members.
(f) For providing members with assistance when traveling in search of employment.
(9) For assisting members when in distressed circumstances and for making grants to members who may be incapacitated by accident from following their usual employment. (h) For assisting branches unable to meet their engagements.
) And for the endowment of members at any age. A district that may be assumed to be fairly representative provides in its rules as follows:
The objects of the district shall be to raise funds by contributions, levies upon lodges, interest on capital, fines, donations, and by such other means as the rules provide
(a) For insuring a sum of money to be paid on the death of a member and for the funeral expenses of a member's wife or the widow of a deceased member.
(6) For rendering assistance in sickness to district members. (C) For assisting members when on travel in search of employment.
(d) For granting temporary relief to lodges and members when in distressed circumstances.
These are to be carried into effect in conformity with and subject to the general rules of the order."
Next in course comes the lodge. One of the 18 lodges of the district above-mentioned has as its third rule the following:
The objects of the lodge shall be to raise a fund by entrance fees, subscriptions of the members, fines, levies, donations, and by interest on capital, for insuring relief in sickness, also for insuring a sum of money to be paid on the death of a member or for the burial expenses of a member's wife or widow; for granting assistance to the widows and children of deceased members; for providing members with assistance when traveling in search of employment; and for assisting members in distressed circumstances, whích objects must be effected in conformity with and subject to the general rules of the order and of the district as well.
The payments and benefits in the subordinate lodges are those determined by the district, and in the case in hand they conform to a single one of the tables prepared by the actuaries of the society. This district is comprised of 18 lodges, and had on December 31, 1908, 5,374 members, of whom 24 were district members. The lodge whose rule is quoted above had 487 members, of whom 113 received sick pay during the year. The occupations of those sick are given, and it may be of interest to note in passing that 41 of them were textile workers, 28 were engaged in trades and mechanical employments, 20 in mercantile and clerical pursuits, 3 were policemen, 1 was a postman, 8 were employed in personal service, and 12 were laborers—a showing supporting the claim that the Manchester Unity is essentially a workman's order. Sickness was distributed as follows: 420 weeks and 3 days during first 26 weeks' sickness, calling for a benefit of 10s. ($2.43) per week, or a total of £210 5s. Od. ($1,023.18); 49 weeks and 5 days during second 26 weeks' sickness, when a weekly benefit of 5s. ($1.22) was paid, or a total of £12 9s. 2d. ($60.63); and 189 weeks of reduced pay (after 52 weeks of sickness), at 2s. 6d. ($0.61) per week, amounting to £23 12s. 6d. ($114.97); the grand total being £246 6s. 8d. ($1,198.78).
The financial relations of the lodge and its superiors may be seen in some measure from the fact that out of a total expenditure for sick and funeral funds during the year, amounting to £428 6s. 040. ($2,084.33), £78 19s. 54d. ($384.32) went to the district funds and £1 19s. 11d. ($9.71) to the unity funds, while the lodge was recouped by the district in the amount of £96 ($467.18), funeral expenses repaid. For the management account the lodge contributed to the district, out of a total expenditure by the former on this account of £118 19s. 01d. ($578.88), the sum of £12 Os. 8d. ($58.56) and to the unity £2 195. 10 d. ($14.57.)
The extent and character of the actuarial investigations of the Manchester Unity are discussed somewhat in connection with other statistics on sickness, etc. (p. 1655 et seq.), but it is proper to note here the actual results in the way of tables of costs and benefits. The tables shown are based on the latest investigations of the order, were prepared and certified by the actuaries of the order, and have been approved by its governing body. A selection of tables is given, showing a number of the rates of payments and benefits, but not at all the complete range of such provisions. In the case of insurance and annuities, larger sums than those represented in the tables can be procured by the payment of dues in an amount practically proportionately larger. The superannuation tables contain no provision for costs of management or for medical expenses and are certified by the actuaries as being sufficient to provide for the payments named