RBO offers Life Insurance, Annuities & Fraternal Benefits, such as scholarships to its members… call today to sign up or to set up a presentation in your area.
On July 1, 1900, at Mahanoy City, PA, a group of miners and other workers organized a fraternal benefit society named Obcestvo Russkich Bratstv Vo Sojedinennych Statach Ameriki (Russian Brotherhood Organization of the United States of America). According to the records, the most active participants were John Z. Smith, John Smayda, Joseph Svit, George Vretiak, Andrew Kopach, Andrew Kosar, Zinon Krajniak, Anthony Onuschak and Paul Matyas. At the first convention held at Hazelton, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1901, John Z. Smith was elected its first president. The convention was attended by 12 delegates. Thereafter on the 9th day of September 1902 at Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the convention was attended by 28 delegates. Rev. Father Theofan Obushkevich was elected the spiritual advisor, John Z. Smith was reelected president, George Vretiak was elected treasurer, and D. Wandziliak was elected secretary. At that time, the society had 546 members. At this convention a Juvenile division of the R.B.O. was established and the Saints Cyril and Methodius were designated as patron saints of the society.
The R.B.O. was born of necessity. In the early 1880’s many of our forefathers and fathers migrated to this country from Eastern Europe. They knew neither the language nor the customs of this country, and many of them settled in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania. If a person were injured or killed in the mines, he or his family would receive no compensation as compensation laws were not yet in existence at that time in the coal industry. That is why they organized lodges for the purpose of paying sick or death benefits. The outgrowth of these lodges culminated in the establishment of the R.B.O.
Springing from this small beginning, the R.B.O. has grown into a large fraternal benefit society, a dynamic force behind many projects instituted among Slav people.
During its 100 years of existence, the R.B.O. has contributed to many worthwhile charity, patriotic and educational causes. It has generously contributed to schools and other causes in Galicia. It has supported churches here and abroad. It has aided the former FROC on national and district levels by placing advertisements in their programs for various events, by printing songbooks gratis, and, for a prolonged time, financing some of their publications.
The R.B.O. not only provides life insurance to its members but also provides help with scholarships for its young people. In other words, the basic precept of the R.B.O. is fraternalism, the actual practice of the teachings of “Brotherhood of Man”. This is the principle under which the R.B.O. has lived and will continue to live.
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