Volume 2, Number 1 (2011)
The Roots/Routes of the Ancient Order of Foresters in the Anglophone Caribbean with Special Emphasis on Barbados
Fraternal organisations transplanted into the Caribbean from the eighteenth century were aspects of European, African and American cultural expressions embraced by West Indians over time. This work does not propose to expose any of the secrecy of fraternal organisations or Lodges, as they are known. It explores from the mid-nineteenth century, the roots and routes of the fraternal organisation, the Ancient Order of Foresters (AOF), primarily in Barbados and selected territories of the Anglophone Caribbean. It will be shown that former colonies such as Barbados were pivotal in both the early development and spread of some fraternal organisations in the Caribbean that had originated in Europe. This paper also seeks to determine whether there was any degree of regional unity facilitated by fraternalism. The intention here is to offer more perspectives on the connections between Barbados, the wider region and the former Mother Country, Britain.