Mizpah Chapter #57 Order of Eastern Star History
Quoting from the notes of Johnnie Jones, our first Worthy Matron, the very beginning of Mizpah Chapter #57 started by organizing the Five Ray Club by Brother George Leech and others. In the beginning our search for a meeting place was finalized by leasing a room in the basement of the old Show Low Hotel (later destroyed by fire). We felt we were blessed while there – no one fell down the stairs. We were not flooded out of more than half the meetings and no one suffered any real serious effects from the sewage leakage from the top floor.
Mizpah will always be remembered by its Instituting Ceremony at the Maxwell House Motel (currently JB's at the Day's Inn) on Feb. 6, 1965. What began as a beautiful morning became a large snowfall by early afternoon and about 14 inches of snow by the adjournment of the meeting. Our first Worthy Matron was Johnnie Jones and the first Worthy Patron was George Graham. There are only five Charter
Members still living, Peggy Butler, Doris Kohler, Barbara & Gene Nelson, and Vi Patterson.
Our Chapter was constituted at the Blue Ridge Cafeteria on May 14, 1966. The Constitution was looked forward to, enjoyed, and remembered by our local group and brothers and sisters from all over the state. Mizpah Chapter thought we were comfortably settled in this Masonic Temple when the great snowstorm of 1967 hit our area, crushing the roof. Again, we moved to the Elks Lodge. We were without a home for the summer. For the first meeting in September, we decided to meet here in this building, even though, we only had the outside wall, the roof and the plywood floor. Thus began the 46 years we have been a chapter.
We have always had a great relationship with the brothers of White River Lodge #62, and have enjoyed to be able to work by their sides to finish and equip the building with various fund raising events. We have been there to support each other’s projects and pledged to continue to do so in the future.
The special relationship that this Eastern Star Chapter and this Masonic Lodge was described recently by one of our members. This sister’s first
experience with anything Masonic occurred in 1984. Her husband was a newly raised Master Mason of White River Lodge. His friend in Lodge was also a member of Eastern Star. This sister’s father, who had no Masonic affiliation in any way, passed away before they were even interviewed for membership. White River Lodge and Mizpah Chapter heard about the passing. The Lodge and Chapter stepped up offering food, housing for out of town guests, use of the hall if necessary, and any other assistance that might be required. This sister decided then and there that any organization that would reach out a hand (many hands) in friendship during a time of need for a non member had to be extraordinary.
We were also honored in l983, when Marjorie Erwin was elected Worthy Grand Matron of Arizona. The American Flag which we use in our meetings was donated to the Chapter by Sister Marjorie. We have been privileged to host three Arizona/New Mexico exchange visits. We were also the hostess chapter for the Four Corners Meeting on April 29, 2004, which includes the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. There were 176 in attendance. Our headquarters were at the Bear Mountain Suites in Lakeside. On Saturday morning, White River Lodge and Mizpah Chapter served breakfast at the Masonic Lodge.
In 1969, the main project of Vi Patterson. Worthy Matron, and Dale Peterson, Worthy Patron, was the establishment of a Rainbow Assembly by instituting Harmony Assembly#51 in May. The Assembly was constituted in November 1969. Pat Peterson, Pete’s daughter, was our first
Worthy Advisor as six girls transferred from the Holbrook Assembly to form the corps of officers of our new assembly. We started with approximately 30 members and flourished for almost thirty years. Many of the current members of Star and Lodge had daughters that belonged. We are happy that we have four current members of our Easter Star Chapter who were Rainbow girls, Frankie Turner, Vanessa Drevnick, Cheri Pierce, and Linda Morrow. Linda Morrow is the current Navajo County School Superintendent.
We were honored in 1980, by the appointment of Deanna Gullett as Grand Worthy Advisor of Arizona. We as board members, parents, and families enjoyed traveling and working with the girls as they journeyed their through their teen age years.
AND IN CLOSING, we offer the following poem:
MASONRY AND THE EASTERN STAR
Hand in hand these orders shall go
Along life’s toilsome road,
Both lending aid to weary ones
Who falter ‘neath their load;
Both giving help to pilgrims weak
When traveling from afar;
The one by Compasses led straight
The other following the Star.