Order of Eastern Star celebrates 125 years

Published 10:30 am Friday, August 12, 2016

Mary Hanson has been a long time member of the Unity Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star and yet she has only seen a glimpse of the group’s extensive history. This summer, it’s time for them to celebrate the group’s longevity.

On Aug. 14, the organization will celebrate its 125th anniversary with an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 303A N. Main St.

Hanson’s husband, Neil, was her gateway to first joining the organization in 1978. After he became a Mason, she found a petition on her desk to join the group and filled it out.

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“The rest is history,” Hanson said.

During her time, Hanson has served as Worthy Grand Matron at the state level. Currently, she is the Worthy Matron of the local chapter.

“It’s like one big family,” she said.

The group completes several philanthropic projects annually, which has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being a member for Hanson.

Some projects have included working with the Austin Public Library, education and music programs for Austin Public Schools, the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Hanson’s favorite, the Circle of Friends day camp. They have also hosted events like the Super Bowl spaghetti dinner, Election Day salad luncheon, ice cream socials and silent auctions.

Looking forward to the future of the organization, Hanson hopes that the group sees more members join.

“I’d like to see the young people get involved and a be a part of raising money and then giving it away to benefit the community,” she said.