In July of 1900 at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, a group of miners and other workers organized a fraternal benefit society titled Russian Brotherhood Organization of the United States of America. At the first convention held at Hazelton, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1901, John Z. Scmith was elected its first president.
The RBO was born of necessity. In the early 1800’s compensation laws did not exist in the coal industry in the United States of America. The RBO organized individual groups known as lodges for the purpose of paying sick or death benefits to its membership in need. The outgrowth of these lodges culminated in the establishment of the organization.
The majority of the forefathers of these men who migrated from eastern Europe primarily settled in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania not knowing the language or customs. Beside the financial support the brotherhood offered, the RBO provided familiarity of faith, customs, and language to bring men together in communities throughout the coal country region.
During its 100+ years of existence, the RBO has contributed to many worthwhile charitable, patriotic and educational causes. It continues to provide affordable life insurance to its members and also provides and assists with collegiate scholarships at both local and national levels.
St. Nicholas RBO Lodge #204 is indelibly connected to the history of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church of Mogadore. The local lodge was chartered in 1914 in Akron and was fundamental in the establishment of the parish three years later in 1917.
Throughout its history, St Nicholas RBO has assisted the church with liturgical purchases and financial assistance whenever possible. It remains the only church affiliated organization that maintains a college scholarship program solely for local students. Membership is not limited to those of Russian descent.
Please contact any of the officers or members with any questions about the RBO.
President Basil Kochan
Vice President Ken Kramer
Recording Secretary Walt Dudich
Treasurer Don Lambo
Financial Secretary Tom Petrochuk