LEGEND OF THE THREE LINKS
(Copied from the Book of Ceremonies No. III,
endorsed and approved for printing by the 1990-91 IARA Committee.)
Back in the long ago – to be exact in 1560 out from Spain, came Don Francisco Bahom de Lugo to the fruitful island of Puerto Rico to be its newly appointed governor. For his chief adornment he wore a long and beautiful chain which was his most cherished possession.
Upon his arrival on the island, Don Francisco saw on every hand need and poverty, which made a grim and striking contrast to the richness and natural beauty of the place. His heart was touched with sympathy. He cut a link from his precious golden chain and gave it away to be sold for the good of his people. Over and over again he repeated this act and the chain grew shorter and shorter. When his term of service was finished and it was time for him to re-embark, alone and self-impoverished for Spain, there were only three links left. He called to him a lady whom he knew he could trust. “Senora,” he said, “when I am gone, give away these, the three remaining links. I wish to be remembered as one who took nothing away from the island, but left behind a record of service.”
From this legend came the idea for the Odd Fellow emblem of three connected links, standing for Friendship, Love and Truth.