The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

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The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. Only men who are Masons are eligible, and only women with specific Masonic affiliations may be members. Although governed internationally by General Grand Chapter, there is a Grand Chapter of Eastern Star here in Maine that governs the subordinate or local Chapters. Those desiring membership must petition a local Chapter. They may be asked by a friend to join. Affiliated Master Masons in good standing, the wives, daughters, legally adopted daughters, mothers, widows, sisters, half sisters, daughters-in-law, grand- daughters, step - mothers, step- daughters, step- sisters, grandmothers, great grand-daughters nieces, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and daughters of Sisters or of Brothers who are affiliated Master Masons in good standing at the time of their death, each of whom shall have attained at least the age of eighteen, are all eligible for membership in the Order.

Eastern Star is a way of life. It is a social order comprised of persons with deep religious convictions and spiritual values, but it is not a religion. We are related to our Masonic Brothers by our affiliation and together we strive to support and help each other.

The Order is a charitable, non-profit organization. In the State of Maine, thousands of dollars have been raised by its more than 13,000 members to benefit or support ESTARL (Eastern Star Training Award for Religious Leadership); Cancer Research; Arthritis Fund; Heart Fund; Alzheimer Research; Knights Templar Eye Foundation; Shriners' Children's Hospitals; and a Charity Fund for our own needy members. These funds are obtained from social events held locally and statewide, which include "pot-luck suppers", dinner dances and fashion shows. The Eastern Star also participates in many local community projects. It also supports and sponsors the Order of Rainbow for Girls and the Order of DeMolay for Boys.

There are 107 Eastern Star Chapters in Maine, located from Kittery to Caribou.

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The White Shrine of Jerusalem is a Masonic affiliated fraternal organization to which both men and women may belong. It was organized in the State of Illinois on October 23, 1894. Its ritual is based upon the Christian religion and the life of Christ. Members are to do noble deeds and acts of kindness to all mankind.

Masons and women with Masonic relations may join by filling out an application from a White Shrine Member or Shrine Scribe (Secretary). A visit from the Shrine representative will be made and a vote for admittance taken.

The philanthropic project of the White Shrine is the Material Objective Program. Through this we help those in need of rehabilitation, regardless of race, creed, sect or age who have no other means of assistance. There is no limit as to any particular physical or medical problem. The funds for this project are derived from voluntary donations and the income from our endowment fund.

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The Order of the Amaranth was originally created by Queen Christina of Sweden in the early 1600's. During her reign, she created the chivalric Order of the Amarantha for her royal court, modeling it after the personage of Lady Amarantha, who was considered to be a beautiful, virtuous and talented woman. The Order has survived and exists in the Royal Court of Sweden today.

As originally created, the Royal and Social Order of the Amarantha has no connection with Masonry. However, in 1860, James B. Taylor, a Mason, wrote the Degree of the Amaranth and incorporated many of the symbols and much of the phraseology used by Queen Christina. Robert Macoy revised the work of Brother Taylor and perfected it into ritualistic form. He decided to combine it with the Eastern Star and the Queen of the South Degree with the Amaranth being the third or highest degree. As time went on, when first started in America, the Order of the Amaranth became completely separate from the Order of the Eastern Star and Queen of the South. The Order spread throughout most of the United States and Canada as well as to the British Isles, Australia, France and the Philippines. As of 1998, forty-three grand courts are in existence as well as several subordinate courts under Supreme Council jurisdiction.

It is a fraternal organization composed of Master Masons and their properly qualified female relatives. In its teachings, the members are reminded of their duties to God, to their Country, and to their fellow beings. They are urged to portray their belief in the Golden Rule. The extent of its charitable work and overall benevolence is limited only by the opportunities that exist. The Order of the Amaranth means many things to many people. To its early members it meant the opportunity to build upon the strong foundations of TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM and CHARITY. It is a fraternal order having for its purpose, service to humanity, set to the music of fraternal love. It means a challenge to build higher and stronger upon these foundations of Fraternal Love and Service. It means the hand of Fraternal Friendship to those in distress, and Thinking and Remembering about its members in their hours of sorrow and sickness. Most of all, it means the Opportunity to serve and to enjoy the close fraternal ties of mutual respect and understanding, thus enriching our lives with friendship.

The Philanthropic Project of the Amaranth is the Diabetes Foundation adopted by its Supreme Council in 1979. An irrevocable trust was then established for the purpose of having one voluntary charity project. The Order annually donates to diabetic research. In 1997 this amounted to nearly one half million dollars.

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Daughters of the Nile is a benevolent international fraternal organization for women who are related by birth or marriage to Shriners. It boasts 147 constituted Temples throughout the United States and Canada. Twenty-two progressive women with strength of purpose and vision founded the organization in 1913. There are more than 55,000 members throughout the North American continent. The Daughters of the Nile are proud of their heritage and grateful to the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for allowing them to assist with the patients at the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children in North America and Hawaii. Annually, through the Supreme Temple Convalescent Endowment Fund and Convalescent Relief Fund there was contributed more than a million and a half dollars to the hospitals for prostheses, orthotics, braces, shoes, etc. for the children. Besides all this, many Temples sew garments, quilts, provide toys and hold parties for the children in the hospitals. Their interest in and concern for children was expressed in April 1997 by contributing $1,590,500 to the Hospitals for the 1996-97 Supreme Temple fiscal year. This figure denotes that more than 30,000 children were assisted by the Daughters of the Nile within one year. Imperial Shrine Headquarters arranged for the Daughters of the Nile to have gold plaques placed in 15 of the hospitals. "Each plaque represents $1,000,000 or more in giving, and untold hours of unselfish and innovative fund raising from the members."

Daughters of the Nile enjoys its heritage from the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and are pleased to have the support and interest of the local Shrine Temples, as well as that of the Imperial Shrine. Membership in the Order is gained by being proposed for the same. Petitions for membership by individuals are not accepted.

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The Social Order of the Beauceant is an organization of Christian women whose membership is limited to the wives and widows of Knights Templar. It was founded in Denver, Colorado, on February 20, 1890.

Members of each Assembly throughout the country work for charities, including the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. The theme of this Order is "Faith, Loyalty and Love for God, the Order of Knights Templar and each other."

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The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is an organization for young women between the ages of 11 and 20, regardless of race, creed or color. A girl is recommended by another member, or by a member of the Masonic Lodge, Order of the Eastern Star or Amaranth. Masonic heritage is not a requirement for membership. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend meetings and activities.

Founded in Oklahoma in 1922, Rainbow currently has Assemblies in 46 States and 8 foreign countries. The initiation ceremony of Rainbow is an inspiring and colorful one. The meanings of the Rainbow of colors are explained and Rainbow Girls are responsible for conducting all business and planning all activities of their Assembly. While adult advisors are always available to provide guidance, stability and interpret rules, the Order believes that a girl benefits most when she is given a "hands-on" experience so that all major decisions are made by the members of the Assembly through their regular order of business.

The underlying goal of Rainbow is to teach a girl the importance of being a good citizen and to reinforce the differences between right and wrong. By participating in planned activities, a girl begins to practice the values that she is taught in Rainbow. By participating in service projects, she learns first-hand the pleasure of helping those less fortunate. Through fund-raising projects, she learns the importance of generating revenue and helping the Assembly meet its expenses. Fun activities and visitations provide the members an opportunity to relax, experience something new, and make new friends. Rainbow is dedicated to helping young women develop leadership, positive character strengths, and other important life skills. Rainbow makes a difference in a girl's life and Rainbow Girls make a difference in the lives of those around them.

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Order of Demlay

The Order of DeMolay is the world's largest fraternity for young men thirteen to twenty-one years of age. Started in 1919, DeMolay has over 700 chapters in the United States as well as chapters in eleven foreign countries.

DeMolay provides young men with a place to have fun, experience fellowship and learn and practice leadership skills. It creates an environment for young men conducive to growing, maturing and developing into caring and contributing members of society. DeMolay accomplishes all these things for young men while teaching them seven basic principles: love of parents, respect for religious beliefs and opinions of others, courtesy, friendship, faithfulness, cleanness and patriotism.

There is no hazing. Men such as John Wayne, Walt Disney, Walter Cronkite, Paul Harvey, Buddy Ebsen, and football great, Fran Tarkenton, have participated in the ceremonies of DeMolay and learned from their participation in this order.

All adult volunteers and workers are screened and participate in training programs to insure quality adult leadership and supervision for the young men of DeMolay.

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The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, whose subordinate bodies are the Grottoes, is an organization by and for Master Masons. While in no way connected with Masonry proper, its membership is restricted absolutely and exclusively to Master Masons in some fun and frolic, it also has its serious side. Its slogan is GOOD FELLOWSHIP, and in contact with our fellow man, this principle is exemplified to a marked degree.

For some years prior to 1889, several members of Hamilton Lodge # 120, F & A M, at Hamilton, New York, sought relaxation from the sterner duties of life by holding occasional informal meeting for fun and good fellowship. The chief spirit in the fun was Leroy Fairchild, and in the summer of 1889, he and a devoted band of followers discovered the Enchanted Realm in which, upon entering with song and laughter, they and their successors have found a rich heritage. The first meeting of the organization was held on the 10th day of September 1889, and it was named for the leader, the "Fairchild Deviltry Committee." It was decided at this first meeting that the membership of the organization should be confined to Master Masons in good standing.

The idea of the Order proved immediately attractive. Many distinguished Masons entered the Enchanted Realm and returned pleased and charmed by its brilliancy. The Order could no longer be confined to any one locality and in response to imperative requests that were not to be denied, on the 13th of June 1890, the "F. D. C. " duly founded and established the Supreme Council of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm.

It is a social organization for the Master Mason and all such are welcome to our Enchanted Realm. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodge Field...its activities and attendance. While it is not and makes no claim to be a part of symbolic Craft Masonry, we ever bear in mind that our membership is composed entirely of Master Masons.

The full-length ritual is original and unique. The spectacular ceremonial requires a cast of thirty (30) or more and offers unlimited opportunities in stage activities and stunt performance. Its proper rendition requires a large stage, elaborate consumes and stage settings. It is mysterious, startling and spectacular with the Persian atmosphere. While pervaded with a spirit of wholesome fun, it teaches a serious lesson which lingers with the initiate, instilling in him a spirit of optimism, a kindly feeling for his brother man and an impression of GOOD FELLOWSHIP which is something devoutly to be desired.

In addition to this original and unique ritual with its spectacular ceremonies, there are also many fun units in each Grotto where a Master Mason can find an outlet for his energy and enthusiasm. Almost every Grotto has musical units, drill teams, drum and bugle corps, clown units, choral groups and many other impressively colorful and attention getting aggregations. Other Grottoes meet by the rules of the Old Festive Board staging their meetings around a luncheon or a dinner.

In 1949, the members of the Supreme Council adopted as their International Humanitarian Objective - Aid to the Cerebral Palsy child. A charitable trust known as the Humanitarian Foundation of the Supreme Council, M. O. V. P. E. R. with a board of five Trustees administers the fund of this Trust. Each and every Prophet throughout the Realm pays one dollar per year to this Humanitarian Foundation. At present this Humanitarian Foundation has two important projects. First, they expend thousands of dollars annually through the United Palsy Research Foundation. This money is used exclusively for research purposes and through this research, much has been learned regarding the causes, effects and partial cure for this dreaded affliction. The second project of the Humanitarian Foundation is the Dentistry for the Handicapped Program. This program was instituted to provide the best dental care possible for the handicapped child. These children often require the special dental facilities, which the Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois or the Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio can provide. Transportation for the patient is provided by the sponsoring Grotto or through the Helwig Fund. When the patient is capable of some cooperation with the dentist and does not need surgery, the service can be rendered locally. The Humanitarian Foundation has made this possible through a unique partnership with qualified dentists throughout the country. This local program enables the Grotto to provide dental care to more children.

Among grotto members are many Grand Masters and Past Grand Masters, Governors and ex-Governors of the various states, numerous other Government officials and Masonic civic leaders. Four Presidents of the United States have been members of the Order: Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Gerald R. Ford.

That the Grotto occupies a legitimate place and is doing a wonderful work cannot be denied. It extends the hand of Good Fellowship to all Master Masons, having a smile for all and a frown for none.

You are a Master Mason in good standing and are eligible for membership in this organization

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Are you an active or former military officer or senior NCO? If so, you may want want to consider membership in the National Sojourners. It's a national fraternal organization advancing programs that promote love of country. Although the term “sojourner’ is common in Freemasonry, it takes on new meaning under the aegis of National Sojourners and has as one of its precepts the words of Brother George Washington, who once said:"When one assumes the soldier, he does not lay aside the citizen."


Below are others but are not expanded in detail:

tcl.gif Tall Cedars of Lebanon

jester.gif Royal Order of Jesters

q.gif Quetzalcoatl

hightw.gif High Twelve International

sciots.gif Sciots

icojog.gif Jobs Daughters

isca.gif Intl. Shrine Clown Association

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Last modified: March 22, 2014