Friday, February 12, 2010

Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo

Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo Mug

The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, Incorporated is a fraternal and service organization whose members are involved in the forests products industry. Hoo-Hoo has members in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and South Africa. It was founded in 1892 in Gurdon, Arkansas, USA by five business travelers who were returning from a meeting of the Arkansas Yellow Pine Manufacturer's Association, and had to wait several hours for their connecting train. They were joined by a local businessman. The first name suggested for the new organization was Ancient Order of Camp Followers, but the name Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo was selected instead.

The founders wanted the organization to be unconventional and unregimented. Its one aim would be to foster the health, happiness, and long life of its members.[1] In a spirit of fun, names for some of the officers were inspired by Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark. The chief executive officer of Hoo-Hoo is the Snark of the Universe (formerly the Grand Snark of the Universe). The Board of Directors includes the Chairman, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, the Seer of the House of Ancients and the Supreme Nines. The Supreme Nines include the Supreme Hoo-Hoo, Senior Hoo-Hoo, Junior Hoo-Hoo, Scrivenoter, Bojum, Jabberwock, Custocatian, Arcanoper and Gurdon. The Hoo-Hoo emblem is a black cat with its tail curled into the shape of a figure nine. The order has a traditional chant that is called at the beginning and end of each meeting "Hoo-hoo, made a Poo-poo!" - Wikipedia: Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo

 Logo of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, 
featuring the black cat with its tail curled in a figure nine.

  • January 1892: It was decided to call the new order the "Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo", and not the "Ancient Order of Camp Followers" as one founding father suggested.   
  • September 1892: The first Hoo-Hoo convention was held in St. Louis, Missouri. The total membership of the order was 167.
  • September 1906: The first membership card was issued. Membership fee was increased from 99 cents to $1.65 (99 cents for dues and 66 cents for subscription to the Bulletin).
  • January 1909: The first official Hoo-Hoo flag was exhibited during a special concatenation in New Orleans, Louisian
  • July 1921: The first establishment of an independent club when the Atlanta Hoo-Hoo Club No. 1 (now the Dick Wilson/Atlanta Hoo-Hoo Club No. 1) adopted a constitution and bylaws and voted to meet monthly.
  • March 1924: First club outside the United Stated was established in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - Winnipeg Hoo-Hoo Club No. 24.
  • May 1924: Detroit Hoo-Hoo Club No. 28 conducted the largest concatenation in Hoo-Hoo's history with 260 kitten
  • 1962: First club in Australia formed - Adelaide Hoo-Hoo Club No. 212.

    In Hotel Hall in Gurdon, the men set up the basic tenets of the order. Hoo-Hoo was to be an organization comprising men with high ideals, and the order’s motto became “Health, Happiness, and Long Life.” The group (led by Johnson) decided that the board of directors would be called the “Supreme Nine.” The names of the directors were: Snark of the Universe (president), Bojum (chaplain), Scrivenoter (secretary), Gurdon (sergeant-at-arms), Senior Hoo-Hoo, Junior Hoo-Hoo, Custocacian, Arcanoper, and Bandersnatch (later changed to Jabberwock). Some of these names were derived from Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark, which one of the founders had recently read. The name “Hoo-Hoo” also had a unique origin. In Kansas City, about a month before the founding of the order, Johnson had used the term “hoo-hoo” to refer to an unusual tuft of hair on the head of Charles McCarer. McCarer became the first Snark of the Universe and was given membership number one.
    Consistent with their unconventionality, the group chose as its mascot a black cat with its tail curved into the number nine. Originally, membership in Hoo-Hoo was to be limited to 9,999 members. As the order increased in popularity, this number was changed to 99,999. Meetings were held on the ninth day of the ninth month at nine minutes after the ninth hour. Annual dues were $9.99, and the initiation fee was $0.99.

    After its humble beginnings in Gurdon, the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo grew tremendously. The first club established outside the United States was founded in Canada in 1924, and other groups sprouted up in places as far away as Australia. Though the Hoo-Hoo experienced a slump from 1929 to 1938, when membership dropped to around 700, the order recovered, and membership began to rise again.

    Two U.S. presidents have had membership in Hoo-Hoo. Theodore Roosevelt was given the reserved membership number 999 for his work promoting the importance of forests. Warren G. Harding, membership number 14,945, was “concatenated” in 1905.
    - Encyclopedia of Arkansas History

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