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Order of Eastern Star chapter receives official dedication

WEST CHAZY The membership of the Miramichi chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is officially home. Leaders of the state organization which oversees their chapter performed a ceremony last Sunday recognizing the local orders new meeting rooms at the Masonic Lodge on State Route 22. The ceremony, which involved officers of the Miramichi chapter, has been two years in the making, said chapter secretary Priscilla Rathbun. The chapter moved to its current building in 2006, however, the coordination of schedules of the organizations state officials didnt coincide until now, she said. When a chapter comes to meet in a new place in order to be an affiliate, the chapter needs to be dedicated and the dedication is to remind us why we are members of the Order of the Eastern Star, said Rathbun. We are indebted to the Masons for the privilege of meeting in these beautiful rooms. The Masons have work hard in restoring this building. The values of charity, truth, love and kindness are the pillars of the Order of the Eastern Stars philosophy, she said, teaching all to be good to our fellow man and help one another. The history of the Miramichi chapter dates back nearly a century. It was first organized in April 1916, with meetings held in various buildings in the town of Mooers over the years. For the past 15-20 years, the chapter rented rooms from the American Legion. The name of the chapter is derived from a Native American word which means "people of the country," she said. It is also the oldest Indian name in eastern Canada, with a river there in New Brunswick bearing the same name. Today, the Miramichi chapter is comprised of three other chapters in the North Country who joined to form one. The Dawn chapter, which met at the same building in West Chazy the chapter utilizes today, joined Miramichi in 1984. The former Chazy chapter, who had previously met at Three Steeples Methodist Church in Champlain, joined in 1996, and the Cumberland Bay chapter, which had met in the former Masonic Lodge in Plattsburgh, joined in 2001. The dedication ceremony was held as an open meeting to the public, in order to give the community a look at what the organization is all about, said Rathbun. The Order of the Eastern Star is a benevolent order known for helping those in need, she said, contributing funding on an annual basis for scholarships, conducting toy drives, providing calling cards to veterans and collecting donations for a local food bank. If we know someone is need, we come to their help, said Rathbun. We all have blended and worked together because we wanted to make one good chapter. The work performed by the more than 60 members of the Miramichi chapter is work the order plans to continue for many years to come, Rathbun said, with anyone and everyone encouraged to join. If you want to help others, if you want to be part of an organization that cares about people, this is the organization to join, she said. Those interested in joining the chapter or in obtaining more information about the Order of the Eastern Star may contact Rathbun at 846-7836.

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