Eastern Star initiation

Keely
Keely Dakin
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The fraternal Order of the Eastern Star initiated 18 new officers, on Saturday.

The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that accepts both men and women to join its order said Norma Lintick, the installing officer for the ceremony, held at the Mason’s hall.

The order is a branch of the Freemasons.

The Prince Albert Order of the Eastern Star chapter has more than 100 members, said Lintick.  Each chapter has 18 officers, some of which are elected and others are appointed. Two offices are specifically male, the Worthy Patron and the Associate Patron. Nine others are specifically female; the last seven can be male or female.

While both sexes are welcome in the fraternity, all men must be members of the Masons and all women must be related to a man who is a Mason.

All the female officers were dressed in white from the tips of their slip-on shoes to the tops of their mostly permed hair. The men were attired in dark suites.

Skirts swung about the women’s ankles and their emblem of the eastern star hung as large, golden medallions from their necks.

While herself a long time wearer of the white worn by the female officers of the order, Lintick is unsure of where the tradition arose.

“I’m not sure the reason behind it. And I’ve never questioned it. It was just something that we were told. Everybody wears white dresses. It may be something to do with … purity. And the organization is dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness,” Lintick added.

“If everybody lived by the obligation that we take when we join the Eastern Star, than it would be a wonderful world, because you know, you are supposed to be a good-living person,” she said.

She has been with the order for 22 years.

“I joined in 1990,” she said.

While not formerly a religious order, they began the ceremony with the Lord’s Prayer.

“For a man to belong they must be a Mason. Like, it’s part of the Masonic family so that’s where the connection is. So you have to have some relative or your husband that is a Mason in order to belong to Eastern Star,” she said.

“It has biblical overtones … when someone is initiated; some of those lectures have biblical sayings in them. But it is not a religion,” she said

“For a man to belong they must be a Mason. Like, it’s part of the Masonic family so that’s where the connection is. So you have to have some relative or your husband that is a Mason in order to belong to Eastern Star,” she said.

“It’s open to wives, widows, sisters, daughters, adopted children (of Masons),” she said.

While not a religious order, it was formed on teachings from the Bible and it is made up of people who hold deeply religious convictions and spiritual values. All individuals who wish to join the order are required to hold a faith, but it can be any faith. They require a belief in a supreme being.

“It’s something that couples can go to if they wish. Both men and women can belong. It’s something that people who have lost their husbands or have never married can go to, but they must have a connections to someone who is a Masonic member,” she said.

The organization funds projects such as cancer research, MS research, the Prince Albert Music Festival, orphanages and a variety of other charities.

They also fund the Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership, which is a scholarship for members who wish to go to school for religious training.

Rob Morris formed the Order of the Eastern Star in 1850. Morris was a Mason in the United States who believed the women associated with Masons also needed a way to be a part of the Masonic family.

The head chapter for the province is in Regina.

Organizations: Eastern Star, Prince Albert

Geographic location: United States, Regina

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