Stettler’s Eastern Star chapter marks 100 years

century-old organization, Victoria Chapter No. 14 of the Order of the Eastern Star, marked its centennial Sunday in Stettler

Stettler’s Eastern Star chapter received a plaque and visit from the Alberta Grand Chapter officers on the group’s 100-year celebration Sunday. From left are Al Smith

Stettler’s Eastern Star chapter received a plaque and visit from the Alberta Grand Chapter officers on the group’s 100-year celebration Sunday. From left are Al Smith

A century-old organization, Victoria Chapter No. 14 of the Order of the Eastern Star, marked its centennial Sunday in Stettler with a celebration at the community hall.

Worthy Matron Gwen Lee said the chapter is believed to be the oldest fraternity in Stettler.

Lee, along with Worthy Patron Bill Kirtley, welcomed the crowd.

Town councillor Malcolm Fischer and county reeve Wayne Nixon brought greetings on behalf of the town and county.

“The Eastern Star does worthy things for others without drawing attention to themselves,” Fischer said.

Worthy Grand Patron of Alberta, Al Smith of Edmonton, and Beth Tripp, Worthy Grand Matron of Alberta from the Lacombe chapter, delivered congratulatory messages from the Grand Chapter of Alberta.

They presented the Stettler chapter with its 100-year plaque.

Victoria Chapter’s longest member, 92-year-old Ethel Williams, has been a member for 71 years.

She is the group’s historian and delivered a nostalgic history of the organization’s 100 years.

The Victoria Chapter No. 14 was organized Feb. 12, 1913. There were 12 chapters already organized in Alberta at that time.

Chapter No. 13 wasn’t used, as it was deemed unlucky.

Meetings were originally held at the Masonic Hall, located opposite where the Royal Hotel stands today, until fire destroyed that building in 1927.

In 1923, the Victoria Chapter hosted the Grand Chapter of Alberta in Stettler. The Grand Ball was held at Carder’s Hall, located above Stettler’s cigar factory.

In 1923, the chapter had 121 members. Today, it has 46 and holds its meetings at the Apollo Lodge No. 27.

Tripp said Alberta chapters have donated more than half a million dollars to Alzheimer’s research and supported children’s charities and scholarships.

During a memorial segment of the program, the chapter remembered 22 members who have died since the Victoria Chapter celebrated its 90th anniversary.

The program included a comic re-enactment of the 1913 organization being instituted by the Lacombe chapter.

The Visions, a country gospel quartet from Red Deer, provided the entertainment.