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Odd Fellows welcomes first female member

Although Pauline Roach is the first female member of the Lincoln County Odd Fellows, the group has never made her feel odd about not being a fellow.
“I was a little apprehensive at first. I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I didn’t know how they would accept me, but they accepted me very well and welcomed me in.”
The Odd Fellows, a fraternal order dating back to the 18th century, focuses on helping those in need, whether it be a cancer patient low on funds or people living with disabilities.
“We help a lot of handicapped people,” said Richard Roach, the group’s noble grand in charge. “If we find out someone needs a ramp built, we’ll go out, we’ll build a ramp. It doesn’t cost them anything.”
The club also has fundraisers in which they sell hotdogs and hamburgers. Thousands of dollars can be raised from such events, and it always benefits the local community.
“We don’t go to South Carolina or anything like that and help people,” said Richard. “We keep it in our community.”
Although Pauline has admired the group’s volunteer work, she wasn’t very interested in joining. It was her husband, Richard, who convinced her.
“He wanted me to join so we could do things together,” she said.
Now, she can travel on Odd Fellows trips and retreats. Despite her initial apprehension, Pauline has enjoyed her eight months with the group.
“Now that she’s in the organization, and she sees what we do, she’s excited,” said Richard.
That said, she wouldn’t mind a little female companionship.
“Right now, I don’t worry about it anymore,” she said. “I’m sure there will be others who will join.”
Despite being the first woman in history to join the branch, Pauline’s arrival met with little fanfare or controversy.
“I don’t think anyone rejected it really,” said Richard. “I think they liked the idea.”
The group has always had a sister organization, the Rebekahs, which has only female members.
For more information on the Odd Fellows call Richard Roach at 704-735-4988.by Sarah Grano

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