From left, Worthy Matron June Carr; and Worthy Grand Matron of Alberta, Order of the Easter Star – Susan MacArthur from Fort McMurray; Worthy Grand Patron of Alberta, Hector van Vierssen Trip from Calgary; and Acting Worthy Patron Jerry Fulton with the Order of the Eastern Star signet in Vermilion on June 18. Photo Angela Mouly
The Vermilion Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star hosted an Official Visit of the Grand Matron and Grand Patron of Alberta at the Mason Star Hall on June 18.
Both Worthy Grand Patron of Alberta, Hector van Vierssen Trip, from Calgary and Worthy Grand Matron of Alberta, Order of the Easter Star – Susan MacArthur, from Fort McMurray had been installed on June 9, and have since been making visits to each chapter around the province.
This year, the Grand Matron selected BC & Alberta Guide Dogs as her charity.
“The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can belong to. Most people can find a Masonic member somewhere in their family history in order to be a member. One common prerequisite is a belief in a supreme being. It is a social organization, bringing together people with common values, and provides opportunities for them to meet, interact, and do good work for the benefit of society.
Each individual chapter and the Grand Chapter all have their own charitable organizations to support. Since 1987 in Alberta, the Order of the Eastern Star Foundation has contributed $1.4 million with over $600,000 going to Alzheimer’s research, over $400,000 to religious scholarships for training, and the remainder split between five other charities with all funds remaining in Alberta,” said Worthy Grand Patron, Hector van Vierssen Trip.
Worthy Grand Matron, Susan MacArthur, said that members celebrated throughout the day with a tea, school of instruction, dinner, and formal meeting.
“At the last Grand Chapter meeting on June 7, we contributed $110,000 to Alberta charities that had been collected throughout the past year. Typically there is a long history with this philanthropic group. I was previously privileged to hand out an 80-year certificate and pin to a member, 102 years old. Vermilion’s Worthy Matron, June Carr from Cold Lake, will be receiving her 50-year pin next year,” said Worthy Grand Matron, Susan MacArthur.
The Order of the Eastern Star operates in 40 countries around the world, began in Alberta in 1912, and was founded in 1859 in Mississippi. It is an affiliate of the Freemasons which started in 1717 in London, England as an organization of brothers.
Past Worthy Grand Matron Maybeth Drozd from Edmonton has travelled internationally and was recognized by her Order of the Eastern Star pin. She said, “The love and fraternal friendships are life-long!”