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The Order of the Eastern Star

In the Jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter 
of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island 

The Pictou County Chapters are:

Century Chapter No. 10
Westville Chapter No. 24
Harmony Chapter No. 25

General History of the Order

The Order of the Eastern Star is an adoptive rite of Freemasonry with teachings based on the Bible and objectives that are charitable and benevolent. The founder of OES was Dr. Robert Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who was a Master Mason and Past Grand Master of Kentucky. Dr. Morris intended his creation to become a female branch of Freemasonry, but he failed to overcome the great opposition this idea engendered. After his first published ritual in 1849-50, he became associated with Robert Macoy who wrote and published a ritual based on Morris' in 1867. The first Grand Chapter was organized in Michigan in the same year. (There is evidence for an organization of the same name founded variously in 1788 or 1793, but this group was defunct by 1867.) Subordinate (local) chapters operate under charter from the Provincial (or State in the USA)  grand chapters which are responsible to the General Grand Chapter at the International Eastern Star temple in Washington, D.C.

Members must be eighteen years or older and either Master Masons in good standing or properly related to a Master Mason in good standing. The latter category includes wives; widows; sisters; daughters; mothers; granddaughters; step-mothers; step daughters; step-sisters; and half-sisters. In 1994 this was expanded to include nieces, daughters-in- law, and grandmothers.

Each chapter has eighteen officers, some elected and others appointed. Two offices are specifically male (Patron and Associate Patron) while nine offices are specifically female (including Matron and Associate Matron). While the Worthy Matron is considered to be the presiding officer of the chapter, the degrees cannot be conferred without a presiding brother in good standing (hence the Patron and Associate Patron).

Each chapter retains the right to decide who shall be a member of the organization. Election to the degrees must be unanimous, without debate, and is secret. The successful candidate must profess a belief in a Supreme Being and is initiated in five degrees, which are conferred in one ceremony. (When Eastern Star was created, it was intended to be the first of a three degree series. The second and third degrees were Queen of the South and the Order of the Amaranth, respectively.)

The Order of the Eastern Star is non-denominational and non-sectarian and requires only the belief in a Supreme Being. Its ritual and Ceremonies, centering in and radiating from the five notable feminine characters of the Bible, are designed to make the most profound and lasting impressions upon all to whom they are addressed.


The Ritual and Ceremonies of the Order of the Eastern Star evolved by Robert Morris. The first four of the notable female Bible characters chosen as symbols and representations of the five degrees were said by Brother Morris to be "illustrations of four great examples of womanly virtue�;

 Jephthah's Daughter, given the name of Adah, brilliantly represents the proper respect to the binding force of a vow;
Ruth beautifully illustrates devotion and loyalty to the memory of a loved one and wholehearted consecration to religious convictions and principles;
Esther represents the nobility of fidelity to loved ones and illustrates the value of undeviating faith in the hour of trial and sorrow".
Martha teaches us to have a trustful faith and a hope of immortal life;

The fifth, and last of the characters representative of notable principles, was selected as the "Elect Lady" to whom the Evangelist John addressed one of his Epistles: �famed for genuine piety and loyalty to the fundamentals of Christianity�, she is numbered among the martyrs of the first century A.D. and movingly illustrates the principles of patience and submission under the wrongs of persecution, ill-treatment and even death, for a noble cause.

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This page was last updated 09/06/08 �