Detail of the Former Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall - Grenville St, Ballarat
The Heart in Hand or Heart-in-Hand is a symbol of a heart in an open palm, and is symbolic of charity, given from the heart.
A heart in hand has also been a symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which is what it means on this old former Nineteenth Century hall in Grenville Street in the provincial Victorian city of Ballarat
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), also known as the Three Link Fraternity, is an altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the similar British Oddfellows service organizations which came into being during the 18th century, at a time when altruistic and charitable acts were far less common.
As an organization, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows aims to provide a framework that promotes personal and social development. Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity. Teachings in the Order are conducted through the exemplification of the Degrees of membership. The Degrees are conferred on the candidate by their Lodge, and are teachings of principles and truths by ceremonies and symbols. The Degrees are presented largely by means of allegory and drama.