By Patsy Troutner
Special to The PREVIEW
In 1910, an Order of the Eastern Star, Harmony Chapter No. 84, happily called Pagosa Springs its home.
In 1987, it closed its doors — but we are opening them again to women with Masonic affiliations and men who are master masons.
If you are of good moral character, believe in a supreme being and are at least 18 years old, you, too, can become a member of this new chapter. Ladies, if you are not sure you have the necessary affiliation, we can help you find out.
The Order of the Eastern Star, with over 1.2 million members, is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. The order is not a secret organization. The order is dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness. This is what we strive to give to our members and the community.
Masonic organizations, including Eastern Star, give $2.8 million a day to charities. The organization is based on the tenants of benevolence, charity, civility, respect, tolerance and a belief in a supreme being. If you would like to know more about the order or would like to attend one of our start-up committee meetings, please call Patsy Troutner at (505) 927-9182 or Donna Kummer at 946-8201.
Where did the Eastern Star come from?
The origin of the order began in 1850 by Dr. Rob Morris and his wife, Charlotte. Rob Morris, poet laureate, is acknowledged as the “master builder” of the order. He was a teacher and school administrator and wrote more than 400 poems and several books. He wanted an order that would benefit both men and women.
The Order of the Eastern Star focuses on moral values and charitable purposes. Although it requires a belief in a supreme being, it is not a religion. It complements each person’s church and faith. We are a family; we call each other brother and sister. We help each other in good times and bad and work together for good causes.
The organization provides us with a means to express compassion and concern for our brothers, sisters, our country and our faith. We serve our community in various ways. We donate school supplies to disadvantaged students, collect food for needy families, support hospitals, veterans and fund research for cancer and other deadly diseases.
Nationally providing service dogs is the dedicated charity supported by all chapters. The state of Colorado Order of the Eastern Star supports the collection of stuffed animals for traumatized children, annual youth scholarships and the Robert Russell Eastern Star-Masonic Center, a retirement community and assisted living center open to the public.
In addition, state and local chapters annually identify a specific charity to support. The La Plata Chapter in Durango supports local veterans’ organizations, Medicine Horse therapy and programs to assist hearing or vision impaired children. If you would like to help us in this charitable effort and make lifelong friends along the way, please contact us at (505) 927-9182 or 946-8201.
By Patsy Troutner