An image depicting members of the Irish National Foresters Friendly Society on board a float in a Saint Patrick's Day procession in Sydney, ca 1930.
About the Society:
The Irish National Foresters Organisation/Friendly Society is a mutual aid society, which was established to help members in distress and the relatives of members who are deceased. It began in 1877 as a breakaway from the Order of Foresters, which was originally set up in England by medieval serfs. As they were not permitted to meet openly, their meetings were gathered in dense forest and they took names associated with forestry and applied them to their leaders (e.g. Chief Ranger, Assistant Chief Ranger, Woodward and Beadle).
The I.N.F grew rapidly and soon became the largest friendly society in Ireland. It is non-sectarian, non-political and is not divided by class. It supported Irish nationalism and its constitution called for 'government for Ireland by the Irish people in accordance with Irish ideas and Irish aspirations'. The INF group are non-political and non-sectarian. The Society is also not based on class distinctions.