The Abbotsford Electa chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star (OES) celebrates its 100th birthday on April 18.
The chapter, which includes members from Abbotsford and Mission, will mark the milestone with a birthday party this Saturday, April 13.
The grand chapter of the B.C. and Yukon OES announced the formation of Electa chapter 20 on April 18, 1919 in Abbotsford, with 27 names on the charter.
The first “Worthy Matron” was Louise Longfellow and the “Worthy Patron” was Eric Weir.
Electa has continued its work for the community and the grand chapter ever since, including raising money for various charities.
Their fundraising projects over the years have included teas, dinners, bazaars, dances, Robbie Burns dinners, card parties and pub nights.
The Electa chapter’s main charitable work is towards cancer, but they have also supported the Heart and Stroke Foundation, BC Guide Dogs, Honour House, scholarships, the Erma Boyce Library, and the Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership.
In the early 1940s, the chapter started purchasing materials to make cancer dressings for the BC Cancer Agency.
The group continues to make these dressings, which are sent to Vancouver to be sterilized and then made available to any cancer patient in B.C. and the Yukon.
Electa also collects stamps, which are sorted and trimmed and then sent to the Foster Secretaries Association – a group within the grand chapter. The stamps are then sold to collectors.
Since 1954, the B.C. chapters have donated more than $500,000 to the BC Cancer Agency through the sale of these stamps.
The Electa chapter also donates to the OES Auxiliary, which provides medical supplies – mainly walkers and wheelchairs – to members of the organization.
At Christmas, donations are made to endeavours such as the Salvation Army Angel Tree, the Christmas Bureau and Food Bank, and the library at the Abbotsford Cancer Centre.
This year, the grand chapter’s Worthy Grand Matron, Worthy Grand Patron, Grand Treasurer and Grand Chaplain are all from the Electa chapter.
The local chapter has had two previous Worthy Grand Matrons and three Grand Patrons.
The Order of the Eastern Star was formed in 1867 and was the first such organization to include both men and women. The grand chapter of B.C. and Yukon was formed in 1912.
Visit bcgrandchapter.com for more information. For more information about the Electa chapter, call Sonia Rockwell at 604-826-0007.