History of The Order
First, the Order of the Eastern Star is and should always be non-denominational, and non-sectarian in both its doctrine and its beliefs. The first and only factor for those wishing to enter its realms is an unequivocal belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.
Its aims and purpose is to promote the welfare and wellbeing of others, particularly those of the Widow and Orphan, and those less fortunate than ourselves. It is not, despite a popular misconception, a secret society.
Its origins began in France, around the middle of the 18th century, with its rites and rituals spreading rapidly and extensively throughout the rest of Europe. When in 1850 in America a slightly altered and more acceptable ritual was adopted by the people of that country, and thereafter in time, the rest of the world.
The Order as we know it today was founded on the ideology of Bro R Morris, with Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness being the fundamentals of its structure and little has changed.
The Order was introduced into Scotland in 1868 by Bro Robert Morris when he visited Edinburgh. The first recorded Chapter in Scotland is "VICTORIA" Chapter No 1, and the date of their Charter was 30th September 1874.
According to history, the Order as we know it today was consecrated in 1903 and reconstituted by the Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter in 1904. From those early days our Order has flourished, and has served its Sisters and Brothers well. It has served outside organizations, the community, and its Country.
In most of the Chapters there is now a distinct lack of men. Perhaps this is due to the indifferent approach of some Grand Lodges, who actively discourage its Members from joining our Order, or could it be that our Order is under pressure from other outside interests? Whatever it is, something has to be done, and done now to inject interest, otherwise more Chapters will close.
Being a charitable organization, its members past and present have given thousands upon thousands of pounds to worthwhile causes. Surely we must strive to keep our Order alive, not only for our own sake, but in order that others may benefit from our charitable purposes.