Thursday, March 29, 2007

More February happenings

On February 12th, I attended Maple Leaf Chapter’s stated meeting. I had the pleasure of presenting two Grand Representative Commissions, one to the Worthy Matron, Sister Darleen Ditchem to the state of Illinois and to Brother Norman Cook to the state of Kansas. This was Maple Leaf’s 98th Birthday and they were also having “Martha Washington Night”. Martha Washington Chapter is in Vermont and was very instrumental in helping to establish Maple Leaf Chapter. Every year Maple Leaf Chapter pays homage to Martha Washington Chapter.

On February 19th I attended Cowansville Chapter with the intention of presenting another Grand Representatives Commission, however the member was sick so was not at the meeting. I left the Commission with the Worthy Matron to present on my behalf. There were quite a few members absent at this meeting, so I helped out by filling in two of the stations: Associate Conductress for the Flag Presentation and Ruth for the draping.

On February 22nd, I attended Westmount Chapter’s All Officer’s Night. I finally got to present the Grand Representative’s Commission that I have been trying to present since December. This was presented to Sister Teresa Cooney and is for the state of Massachusetts.

On February 27th, I attended my own chapter’s regular meeting.

The All New England and Quebec Exchange

On February 23rd, 16 of us headed to Rhode Island for the All New England and Quebec Exchange hosted by the Grand Chapter of Rhode Island. I had the pleasure of driving with our Grand Secretary, Sister Anita Young (who is also a G.G.C.C.M. on Visionquet) and my sister Heather (our Grand Martha). We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. It was a beautiful weekend, weather wise, albeit a little cool. On Friday night, we enjoyed a wonderful supper in the hotel’s restaurant. The service was a little slow, but I guess that is understandable considering we arrived in three large groups.

On Saturday morning we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast and then headed to the mall for a little shopping before it was time to get ready for the meeting.

At around 12:30 p.m. we headed off to Cranston for the meeting. The registration began at 1:00 p.m. and we wanted to give ourselves time to find parking. That alone was tricky! We finally found what we thought was a “legal” spot right in front of the Masonic Temple. Turns out we were blocking a driveway by about ½ an inch and the owners called the police. Sister Anita had to leave during the meeting to move her car before having it towed away!

After Registration, we enjoyed a Social Tea and met up with friends that we hadn’t seen for a while and made many new ones. The meeting began around 3:00 p.m. with a regular opening and closing, after which all the Distinguished Guests were presented. What a sight!! The room was packed to the gills. (I believe, in total there were 235 members at the meeting with almost 280 for the dinner later)! After the presentations, the degree work was exemplified. We are very proud of the three officers from Quebec who participated: Sisters Anita Young, G.G.C.C.M. as Secretary, Roberta Hall, P.G.M. as Esther and Brother Arthur Shore, Associate Grand Patron as Chaplain. A banquet was held after the meeting and put on by Rainbow Girls. They did a superb job. All the Worthy Grand Matrons & Worthy Grand Patrons were seated on the stage. Kinda made us feel like we were on display!

After we all returned to the hotel and had a chance to change and relax a bit, everyone from the Quebec delegations and a few from Connecticut and Vermont gathered in my room for some more socializing.

Sunday saw us up early to enjoy another great breakfast before the long drive home.

School of Instruction

On Saturday, February 3, 2007, I presided over the annual School of Instruction. It was held in Randell Hall in Chambly (the meeting place of my Chapter, Friendship-Victoria #54). The members of Friendship-Victoria served a delicious lunch of soup and sandwiches.

The School was well attended and it was felt that it was worthwhile and will make a difference in the work we will observe the rest the year. The Grand Officers exemplified all the work, and the Guardian Angels acted as the “Board” and helped in answering all questions asked. I thank everyone who took the time and made the effort to attend and for making this a very productive day.

Under the Good of the Order, I was pleased to present a Grand Representatives Commission to Mississippi to Sister Sheila Bellam of Cookshire Chapter #46.

I was also very honoured to present a special plaque to my Grand Electa, Sister Christiane Chagnon. This plaque is in memory of Sister Doris Burnett, P.M., who passed away last December. Sister Doris served as Grand Electa is 2004-2005. She later received a Grand Representatives Commission to British Columbia & Yukon. Her counterpart, Sister Pat Reeves, was a former member here in Quebec and she and Sister Doris had been friends for over 50 years. When Sister Doris was appointed as Grand Electa, Sister Pat made the needlepoint plaque and presented it to Sister Doris. In memory of Sister Doris, this plaque will be passed on, each year, to the new Grand Electa.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our First Exchange Of The Year

On January 13th, 13 members from Quebec headed to Connecticut for a wonderful exchange with Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire in Middletown, CT. The weekend began with us driving down on the Friday (our Associate Grand Matron, Brenda Stone, and our Associate Grand Patron, Art Shore and Art’s wife Betty drove down on the Saturday. They arrived 5 minutes before the meeting began as their GPS took them to Massachusetts!!). The weather was perfect for driving. I had the pleasure of driving with Sisters Margaret Hourston, P.G.M. and Marjorie Empey, P.M. We took our time and arrived at the hotel in Cromwell, CT around 5:30 p.m. We stopped for a wonderful lunch at a little family diner in a small town in Vermont called Hartfield.

After everyone arrived, we made plans to go for dinner. We decided on the Ninety-Nine Restaurant & Pub. Of course, being a Friday night, the place was packed and we ended up waiting close to an hour for a table. But it was well worth the wait – the food was just wonderful, and the company even better.

Saturday started off with a wonderfully relaxed buffet breakfast at the hotel after which we got ready for the meeting, which was held at the Masonic Temple in nearby Middletown. We must be a noisy bunch because as soon as we walked in the door, Lynn Wakefield, WGM of Connecticut came over to me and said: “I heard all the commotion and knew that Quebec had arrived!” Of course, this was all said in fun.

Good Intent Chapter hosted the day and they put on a wonderful Tea Time during the registration. It was a great time catching up with old friends and making new ones. The meeting began at 3:00 p.m. with Good Intent Chapter doing the Opening. Our own Sisters Pierrette Langevin, P.M. as Marshal, Margaret Hourston, P.G.M. as Conductress and Huguette Daguerre, AGC as Associate Conductress, wonderfully presented our Canadian Flag. I thank these ladies for such a great job. After the opening, all the Distinguished Guests were presented. What a sight seeing all the beautiful dresses. In total, there were about 135 members present.

After a brief recess, the entertainment began. It was called “OES – In The Beginning.” It was a skit depicting what a meeting might have looked like way back when. The Past Grands of all the Jurisdictions present put it on. Four of our own participated: Sisters Barbara Wheaton as Marshal, Elizabeth Dempsey as Associate Matron, Brother George-Henry Dempsey as Warder and Margaret Hourston as the Angel. Everyone was dressed in period costumes and the Star Points were dressed as they would have been in Biblical times, and in their appropriate colours. Sister Margaret, as part of her costume, used her Guardian Angel wings, which I gave her at our Installation last October. Each “officer”, one at a time, stood behind Esther’s chair and volunteered to fill an office and then were escorted to their stations by the Marshal. Each of the Star Points was presented by the Angel and then escorted to their stations, again by the Marshal. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if today we could get members to readily volunteer like that? After the entertainment we all sat down to a wonderful dinner and more socializing with friends.

After we returned to the hotel we all gathered together for some more socializing before heading off to our own beds. I have to say here that after some 40 years in the Order, this was the first trip that Sister Evelyn Shaw, our Grand Adah, had been on and it looked like she really enjoyed herself, both at the meeting and listening to all the stories of past trips.

Sunday morning saw us all packing up to head for home (not until we sampled that delicious buffet breakfast again!). On our way home, Sisters Margaret, Marjorie and I stopped for lunch in Randolf, VT. We had planned to go to a restaurant that Margaret knew, but, unfortunately, it was closed. We ended up stopping at a local church for a delicious spaghetti lunch that was put on by some students from the Vermont Technical College.

All in all, the weekend was super, as always, and the weather was very cooperative. I’m so happy that the bad weather didn’t arrive until the Monday morning after we were safely home.

Our next big exchange is the All New England and Quebec Exchange in February. More on that in a future posting.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A New Year Begins

January began with mild weather, with a little rain, melting what little snow we had on the ground. This is very unusual for Quebec!

The New Year also started on a sad note. On January 2nd, I attended the funeral of one of our long time members, Sister Doris Burnett. Sister Doris was a member of my Mother Chapter, Rosemount-St. Lambert #15. In fact, Sister Doris is one of the members who came to visit me when I first put in my petition for membership in 1991. She was a member of the Order for over 50 years, and will be greatly missed.

On January 3rd, I made a surprise visit to Lachute Chapter #56. I got there in time to enjoy their wonderfully tasty soup supper. The purpose of my visit was to present two more Grand Representative Commissions. I presented a Commission to Nova Scotia & PEI to Sister Elaine Wilson and a Commission to North Carolina to the Worthy Matron, Sister Kay Strong. They were both very pleased to receive these Commissions, and Sister Kay is already making plans to drive to North Carolina for their Sessions next year.

The next night, January 4th, I attended Lake St. Louis Chapter’s meeting, again in time to enjoy their pot-luck supper. During the meeting, I presented a Grand Representatives Commission to Las Vegas to Sister Linda Wodarka.

This was another back-to-back meeting week, as on January 5th, I attended Victory Chapter #34’s meeting. This time, the weather was a lot better! Once again, I had the pleasure of presenting some Grand Representatives Commissions. I presented Brother Edwin Smith a Commission to the Supreme Grand Chapter of Australia and a Commission to New York to Sister Gael Montpetit.

On January 7th, I had a meeting at our Grand Secretary’s house. Sister Anita Young is our new General Grand Chapter Committee Member on Visionquest for the 2006-2009 Triennium. Other attendees at the meeting were Sisters Brenda Stone, Associate Grand Matron, Beverley Sanborn, Grand Conductress and Huguette Daguerre, Associate Grand Conductress. This meeting was held for the purpose of establishing a Visionquest Committee and to discuss our thoughts & ideas on Visionquest. The Committee will consist of the G.G.C.C.M. on Visionquest, the Worthy Grand Matron, the Associate Grand Matron, the Grand Conductress and the Associate Grand Conductress. The new Associate Grand Conductress will replace the WGM each year.

On January 8th I was off to Maple Leaf Chapter #2. It was a very quiet meeting - even the Worthy Matron wasn’t there! I did, however, have the pleasure of presenting a Grand Representatives Commission to Oregon to Sister Charlotte Wescott. I had two others to present, but the members weren’t present.

On January 15th, I had plans to attend Cowansville #17’s meeting in order to present another Grand Representatives Commission, but we had a major snow storm that day (the first big one of the year) and their meeting was cancelled. It was rescheduled for January 22nd, unfortunately much to my disappointment, I was not well that day and could not go.

January 23rd was my own Chapter’s regular meeting. It was also our 42nd Birthday Party. Although there weren’t too many visitors, we had a great meeting just the same, with lots of birthday cake and ice cream after.

On January 25th, I attended the meeting of Westmount Chapter #9. I had hoped to present the Grand Representatives Commission that I wasn’t able to do last month. Unfortunately, once again, the recipient wasn’t there. I later learned that she can only attend the meetings if she can get a ride.

December 2006

It’s been a few days since I have posted anything because it has been really busy lately.

December was a relatively quiet month, as is usually the case. I was planning to go to Victory Chapter #34 Christmas meeting on December 1st, but the temperature dropped and we got quite a lot of freezing rain. The highway that I take is always very windy and when it rains or snows, it gets very bad for driving. So I just went home to my warm bed instead.

On December 7th, I visited Lake St. Louis Chapter for their Christmas meeting. Although there were not too many members present, it was an excellent meeting. They initiated two new members, Della and Barry Yaxley. Della had wanted to join for quite awhile, but the time just wasn’t right. They are both very excited about being members and we are all very excited to have them.

Fidelity Chapter had a delicious Christmas Turkey Dinner on December 9th, which I attended. The evening started with a social hour and then the dinner. After dinner a fantastic 3-piece band entertained us. There were door prizes also, but unfortunately I didn’t win! Oh well, maybe next time.

On December 13th, I was back to Fidelity Chapter for their Christmas meeting. They also initiated new members – four of them! This is getting exciting having all these new members. Our poor Grand Secretary had to send to General Grand Chapter for a new stock of rituals, as we haven’t had this many initiations in quite awhile. While I was at the meeting I had the pleasure of presenting my first Grand Representatives Commission, to Sao Paulo, to Maria Roussakis. She has only been a member for over a year and was very exited. She said that she has only one cousin and that cousin happens to live in Sao Paulo!

December 16th was a family day. My middle sister (who is my Grand Martha) turned 50 years old on December 10th, so my other sister, Judy, and I took her out for a birthday lunch and gave her a $50 gift certificate. It was a super day, as the three of us don’t get together very often. Although we all live in or around Montreal, we are spread apart enough to cause us not to see each other all at the same time.

On December 19th I attended my own Chapter’s meeting (Friendship-Victoria #54). It was also our Christmas meeting, and we had the pleasure of having Santa visit us! During the meeting, I had the pleasure of presenting another Grand Representative’s Commission to one of my own members, Brother Robert Wheaton. This Commission was to New Hampshire.

On December 21st, I attended Westmount Chapter #9’s Christmas meeting with the intention of presenting another Grand Representatives Commission. Unfortunately, the recipient was not there that evening. It was a great meeting just the same. The Worthy Matron had asked everyone, that in lieu of gifts, to bring a Teddy Bear. All of these Teddy Bears are to be donated to the Montreal Shriners Hospital, which is her Special Project this year.

I had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off work, which gave me some time to relax and enjoy the holidays with family. My daughter, Briana, and her boyfriend, Eric, were over for the day on Christmas Eve, so we did our “thing” then. They spent Christmas Day at Eric’s parents house. The rest of the week, I took the opportunity to clean closets and get caught up on other household stuff that I never seem to have time to do!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Month of November 2006

Brother Bill, WGP and I had the pleasure of being asked to install the Officers of seven subordinate chapters: Lachute #54, Lake St. Louis #45, Victory #34, Maple Leaf #2, Cowansville #17, Cookshire #46 and Friendship-Victoria #54. What a wonderful experience. The first three installations were held back to back – that was tough, but we managed and everything went off without a hitch. During the Installation at Cowansville Chapter, I ended up taking a really bad coughing fit and we had to stop for a few minutes. The Secretary, who is also our Associate Grand Matron, had some peppermint oil and she told me to put a couple of drops on my tongue. It worked great, but what an awful taste! After I recovered, the rest went very smooth.

On November 9th, I had a meeting with the Grand Secretary, Sister Anita Young, P.G.M., to choose the Grand Representatives. This year, I will have the pleasure to present 30 new Grand Representatives. Although choosing those to receive Grand Representative Commissions was arduous, it was also an incredibly rewarding task. It was indeed a privilege and a joy to make these decisions and will be a joy to present them. Every recipient is most deserving of this honour.

November 11th: I attended a Table Chapter in Stanbridge East, Quebec, hosted by Sister Robert Hall, P.G.M. and Brother Angus Strong, P.G.P., of which the proceeds are to benefit our Special Projects. What a wonderful time we had. Although Brother Bill, WGP has attended one in the past, this was my first Table Chapter and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard. I was still aching all over the next day! Most of the people who attended had never participated in a Table Chapter. They were new to the ceremonies, new to the multi-course dinner and new to the “between-course” antics (Brother Bill and I seemed to be the targets for the “between-course” antics!!!). I thank Sister Bobby and Brother Angus and their hard working team for making this one of the most successful and profitable Table Chapters. The final total was $911.50, ½ of which will go to the Parkinson’s Society of Quebec and ½ to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada.

On November 30th I attended a Concordant Bodies meeting held at the Karnak Temple in Montreal. These meetings increase the communication between the different Masonic bodies and help us to understand the aims of each other. Many things are discussed at these meetings. One of the main problems discussed, which we are all suffering from, is the decline in membership. We need to work together with each of the Masonic bodies to find ways to help each other. A couple of outstanding issues were finalized at these meetings. The sign in front of the Masonic Temple is to be redone to include the logos of all the Masonic Bodies, along with the Grand Lodge’s and the Rough Ashler website addresses. A link to the Eastern Star is on the Rough Ashler website. Also, Grand Lodge is producing a pamphlet explaining what the Masons are. This pamphlet will also include descriptions of all the other Masonic Bodies. The new Potentate, John MacDonald, is putting together a handout to be given to all new Shriners, which will include petitions to all the other Bodies. Our ever-efficient Grand Secretary happened to have one of our petitions with her at the meeting and he gladly took this to include in the handout.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Month of October 2006

Our year began in full swing. The day after our installation, October 14th, we held meetings (at 9:00 a.m. no less!) with our Grand Officers, Guardian Angels and the Committee on Arrangements. All our plans were laid out, special events scheduled, etc. I emphasized to the Guardian Angels how I would like to see some of the newer members take their Proficiency Tests. This seems to be working wonderfully.

On October 15th I attended the Grand Lodge Annual Devine Service at the Montreal West Presbyterian Church. I was accompanied by a delegation of 17 Eastern Star members. It was a wonderful service. The Grand Lodge made a benevolent donation to one of the shelters in Montreal (unfortunately, I can’t remember which one). The service was followed by a social in the church hall. This gave us the opportunity to mingle with many of the masons, and their wives who attended.

On October 21st, Friendship-Victoria Chapter #54 and Victory Chapter #34 hosted a wonderful joint reception for Brother William Winter, WGP and I, and our Grand Family, at the Golf International 2000 in St. Bernard de Lacolle.

The tables were adorned with vases of Bluebells (one of my flowers) brought from Scotland especially for the reception. Sister Hélène LeBel, P.G.M. acted as Mistress of Ceremonies. The Grand Officers and all other Distinguished Guests were led into the banquet hall by Sister Fabienne Winter, Grand Marshal and by a bagpiper in full Scottish regalia.

The guests, of whom there were so many, were treated to a delicious meal and hospitality that wouldn’t end. Throughout the afternoon, Scottish stories and jokes were told. I thank all those who made donations to our Special Projects. It is very much appreciated. I also thank both our chapters for planning this perfect occasion to celebrate the beginning of our 2007 Gathering of the Clans year.

This is Bill & I with the two Worthy Matrons of our Chapters, Sister Barbara Wheaton, PGM of Vermont (on the left) and Sister Florence Ellerton, PGM of Quebec (on the right)

This is my two sisters, Judy and Heather (Heather is our Grand Martha), and the bagpiper

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Theme

This year I have chosen for my theme all things about Scotland, in memory of my mother, Sister Rhona Kay. Mom and I were initiated together in 1991 and after I completed my studies and became an active member, were constant traveling companions, along with my sister, Sister Heather. In May 2003, when mom was recuperating from her strokes I told her of my intention of running for the North Chair. You should have seen the look on her face. It was just exhilarating. She told me that, even if she had to come in a wheelchair or on crutches, she would be at Grand Chapter to support me. Unfortunately, her cancer came back and she passed away a month before Sessions, but I am sure she was there just the same, and maybe even put in her vote.

Here is a general description of my theme:

The “Gathering of the Clans” Session

Ceád Mile Failte!
“One Hundred Thousand Welcomes”


Faith, Hope, Peace and Love

“May you have
The Blessing of Peace
The Beauty of Hope
And the Spirit of Love”


To Promote Love and Friendship


WGM: 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.”

WGP: 1 Peter 2:17 “Honour all Men, Love The Brotherhood, Fear God, Honour the King.”


Light Blue, Lilac


Thistle, Blue Bells (of Scotland), White heather,
babies breath & Ivy


(Keeper of the "Royal" Regalia)

I chose the station of Marshal as our Honoured Station because my family is from the Marshall Clan in Scotland (my mother’s maiden name is Marshall). The Marshall acted as the Keeper of the Royal Regalia and Guard and I thought this was befitting that Station.


Crossed Batons, Clasped Hands of Friendship


WGM: The Celtic Cross

“The Celtic Cross is a continual reminder
of our faith in Heaven’s promise of
Love and Hope”


WGM: “Nessie” The Loch Ness Monster
WGP: The Racecar


WGM: Parkinson’s Society of Quebec

(In memory of my step-father who passed away at the age of 61, three years after being diagnosed with a severe case of Parkinson’s Disease. It is also in honour of all the friends and members who are also afflicted with this disease.)

WGP: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada


Scotland the Brave
Flower of Scotland
Let There Be Peace On Earth
Amazing Grace
Auld Lang Syne

Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
Time To Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli)

Our Grand Officers are called “The Highlanders” and my Guardian Angels (like Grand Instructors) are called the “Bluebells”.

It is my earnest desire to leave some helpful and encouraging message each time it is my privilege to speak. So in keeping in line with our watchwords and our Aim, I have decided that my message to the Chapters this year shall stress the present day need for sacrifice, service, loyalty, faith and love, but mostly the need for Friendship. As we start off our year, I believe we must dedicate ourselves to rebuilding our Order to the strength and purpose we once enjoyed. The main thrust of our effort is to return to the basics on which our founder built this Order, which is to love one another, to protect, honour, assist and to enjoy, to be the best we can be.

It is my sincere wish that we can spread the word of our accomplishments throughout our province and neighborhoods. However, times are changing and if we are to survive we must accept changes in our Order. We are suffering from Tradition-itis: An obsession with the past that obscures our vision for the future.

Monday, March 5, 2007

And So It Began – My Installation

On October 13, 2006, after a beautiful ceremony, I was installed as Worthy Grand Matron along with William Winter as Worthy Grand Patron. The Installing Grand Matron was Sister Marion Loffelmann (formerly Melnechuk), who was instrumental in getting me started in Grand Chapter. The Installing Grand Patron was Brother Angus Strong, Past Grand Patron. The rest of the Installing Team was: Hélène LeBel, P.G.M. as Grand Chaplain; Brenda Shaw-Radford, P.G.M. as Grand Marshal; Violet Seabright, P.M. as Grand Organist; Terence Radford, P.G.P., as Grand Warder and Jarka Loffelmann, P.G. P. as Grand Sentinel. All members of the Installing Team with the exception of Brother Angus Strong and Sister Violet Seabright, are members of my two chapters.

We had a wonderful soloist for the Installation – Sister Annette Sharon from Vermont. I had seen her “perform” at the Hands Across the Border Exchange with Vermont the previous year and knew then that I wanted her to participate in our Installation. As I was being installed, she sang Scotland the Brave for me.

My beautiful Bible that will be traveling with me throughout the year was presented to me by Sister Marion Loffelmann. This is the same Bible that she used when she was Worthy Grand Matron. When Sister Marion asked me if I would accept her Bible, I was so overwhelmed. Sister Marion, in turn, received this Bible from Sister Alta Fowler, who served as Worthy Grand Matron in 1972, so there is a lot of history to it. The Associate Matron of my chapter, Sister Heather MacDonald (who happens to be my real sister and is our Grand Martha), had the Bible refurbished with new pages added in the front for the signatures of all the Worthy Matrons and Worthy Patrons. The pages also have little pictures of thistles and Scotty dogs. Sister Heather also made me a beautiful cover for my Bible with my Watchwords, as well as a little Scotty Dog.

My Bible Marker, a gift from my Chapter, was hand painted by Sister Louise Wilkinson, P.G.M. It is painted with a Celtic Cross and thistles. The Worthy Grand Patron, Brother William Winter and his wife Sister Fabienne (who is our Grand Marshal), presented me with a gavel, with the inscription: Alana Farrell, WGM, 2006-2007 - The Gathering of the Clans”. It is one of two gavels that I will be using throughout the year. My mother and my sister presented the other one to me when I was installed as Worthy Matron of Friendship-Victoria Chapter.

We had a lot of friends and family there for our Installation, which made it all the more special. Although my daughter, who had work conflicts, and my other sister could not make it (my mother passed away in 2003), my boss from work and his wife were there. Also several of our Counterparts from Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Brunswick stayed to see us installed.

All in all, it was a night to remember and a great start to our year of the Gathering of the Clans.

A Bit About My OES Life

In General

I was initiated into the Order, along with my mother, on September 26, 1991 into St. Lambert Chapter #15 in St. Lambert, Quebec (one of my sisters joined a year later). I wasn’t an active member until about 1996 as I was taking night classes and the classes always seemed to fall on meeting nights. In 1996 I affiliated with Friendship Chapter #54 in Chambly, Quebec (now called Friendship-Victoria #54 due to a consolidation with Victoria Chapter #25 in 1999). In 1996 – 1997, I was installed as the Star Point Electa in St. Lambert Chapter and the Star Point Esther in Friendship Chapter. The next year, I was elected to the North Chair (Associate Conductress) in both chapters. In Friendship-Victoria Chapter, I continued up the line serving as Conductress in 1998-1999, Associate Matron in 1999-2000 and then as Worthy Matron in 2000-2001. I was elected as Secretary of Friendship-Victoria Chapter in 2001 and served in that station until I was installed as Worthy Grand Matron in October 2006. In 2004 I also served as Warder in Rosemount-St. Lambert #15 (St. Lambert #15 and Rosemount #44 consolidated in 1999).

My Grand Chapter History:

In 1999 I was presented with a Grand Representatives Commission to Alberta by the then Worthy Grand Matron, Sister Joyce Dryden.

In 1994 I was asked to serve as a Grand Page for the Associate Grand Conductress, Sister Marion Melnechuk. (Sister Marion is a member of my own Chapter – Friendship-Victoria). I ended up serving as her Grand Page every year right up to her year as Worthy Grand Matron in 1998.

In October 2002 I was appointed Grand Electa as part of Sister Margaret Hourston’s 2002 – 2003 Grand Family. The following year, October 2003, I was elected as Associate Grand Conductress. In 2004 I was then elected as Grand Conductress, Associate Grand Matron in 2005 and on October 13, 2006, I was elected and installed as Worthy Grand Matron. My year will end in October 2007.

The office of Worthy Grand Matron is the highest office that one can attain in their Jurisdiction. It is one of great responsibility, but is extremely enjoyable. An experience never to be forgotten.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

In The Beginning

I've started this blog in order to keep a journal of my year as a Worthy Grand Matron. I was installed as Worthy Grand Matron in October 2006, and should have started then, but it has been soooo busy these last few months that I really haven't had time to sit down and write anything. Although it is already March 2007, I will begin at the beginning and hopefully get caught up before my year is over!

I guess, before I begin, I should explain a bit about the Order of the Eastern Star. The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. Worldwide, there are approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter. Only men who are Master Masons are eligible and women with specific Masonic relationships may be members. Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which make us near and dear to each other.

The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry and Past Grand Master of Kentucky, founded the Order in 1850 using beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles, which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star is an organization where women and men can contribute much time, energy and wisdom to our Order with Charity, Truth and Loving-kindness for the good of all mankind throughout the world.

Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects others is the millions of dollars that have been raised within the membership to support national, jurisdictional, and local charities. Many Grand Jurisdictions also have homes for their senior members.
Many of the Jurisdictions proudly sponsor and support the Order of Rainbow for Girls and Job’s Daughters and, along with the Masons, support the Order of DeMolay for boys. The purpose of these youth groups is to train these fine young citizens to be leaders in the community and to be future members and leaders in the Order of the Eastern Star. Eastern Star also supports Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership and Shriner’s Hospitals.

(To Be Continued...)