Trudie Brisson, from Chilliwack’s Independent Order of the Odd Fellows Lodge, has been elected the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. She is the first woman to be elected to the position in IOOF’s 200-year history. (Submitted photo)

Odd Fellows of B.C. elect first woman as Grand Master

Chilliwack’s Trudie Brisson installed into top role for long-running organization

A Chilliwack woman has been elected into the top position of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) in British Columbia.

Trudie Brisson is now the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, and the first woman to hold the title in the organization’s 200-year history. Brisson was elected earlier this year, and installed on May 11 at the Lodge Hall in Victoria.

Brisson has been a member of the IOOF since 1973, and holds several positions, including past president of the Rebekah Assembly. However, Grand Master will be the highest ranking title.

It’s a historic move by the IOOF, Brisson said, and she is honoured to have the role and to be the first woman elected.

The Odd Fellows have a long history of fraternity in Europe, and expanded to North America in 1819 when Thomas Wildy found other Odd Fellows in Baltimore, Maryland. The Odd Fellows fraternity was all about helping fellow general labourers who were hurt, or a spouse died, or needed assistance. They felt nobody else was helping.

Today, the goals of the IOOF are much the same. They raise money for education and give out scholarships and bursaries, as well as BC Children’s Hospital, visual research, arthritis, cancer and other needs as they arise.

Brisson says that at one time there was an Odd Fellow’s Lodge in nearly every town in B.C.

“Things got hard and folks got older and now our membership has shrunk,” she says. “But we are still doing all we can for our communities.”

The Chilliwack hall is at the corner of Reece and Fletcher, and several lodges meet there as well as the Rebekahs. For more information about Odd Fellowship, Brisson can be reached at 604-823-6578 or by email at

To see if there is an IOOF in your community, visit


Elected Officers from all over B.C. gathered in Victoria on May 11 to install Trudie Brisson (centre) as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. Beside her, wearing the wide red collar, is the Sovereign Grand Master of the World, who lives in Colorado. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Purple Light Nights committee of Chilliwack is rolling out exciting new events starting Oct. 1

Key message is still that intimate partner violence has no place in our community

Agassiz administrator to teach ‘psychological first aid’ course

ACE principal Sandy Balascak will be sharing how to help others deal with a mental health crisis

Shandhar Hut of Chilliwack wins bragging rights for best Indian cuisine in B.C.

The popular family restaurant saw an outpouring of testimonials and voting from adoring clientele

Vokes range in Chilliwack River Valley reopens to military marksmenship training

The rifle range shut down last summer due to safety concerns about richochets, according to DND

Armed ERT officers respond to firearm report near Chilliwack middle school Friday

School put in hold-and-secure in the afternoon as incident was resolved

VIDEO: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money.’

Pettersson has 4 points as Canucks dump Ottawa 6-4

Vancouver wins NHL pre-season tilt in Abbotsford

British man returns to Yukon to tipple his own toe in long-running tradition

So-called sourtoe cocktail is a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it

Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

56 per cent of respondents admitted to reading or sharing inaccurate news

Province announces $3.5 million in funding for community solutions to overdose crisis

Grants up to $50,000 will be available for municipalities working with a regional health authority

Conservatives’ plan to ease mortgage stress-test rules may raise debt and prices

Andrew Scheer vows to loosen rules around stress test and remove it altogether for mortgage renewals

B.C. mom urges patience after rude comments while out with toddlers

People asked to be better and to help each other

U.S. wrestler says viral speeding ticket video was staged

WWE wrestler Lacey Evans says she does not condone disrespecting law enforcement officers

‘Own a piece of history’: Beachcombers location Molly’s Reach up for sale

‘This is one of B.C.’s most photographed buildings’

Most Read