Grand Chapter of British Columbia & Yukon

Order of the Eastern Star

How to Join the Order of the Eastern Star

As a fraternal order, the Order of the Eastern Star provides an opportunity for men and women to meet and enjoy social companionship. The Order encourages a philosophy of life based on the virtues of fidelity, constancy, loyalty, faith, love, and charity. With over 500,000 members globally, the OES is the largest fraternal organization to which both men and women can belong. In general, membership in the OES is restricted to men who are already Masons and their female relatives.

Qualifying for Membership:
✓    Be 18 years or older. The Order of the Eastern Star is an Order that is closely associated with the Freemasons, and OES members must 18 years or older to join.

✓    Believe in a supreme being.  While Masonic organizations are not religions or cults in themselves, they do have spiritual components. All that is necessary is belief in a supreme being - the form and name(s) of that being are left up to the individual member. This belief does not necessarily have to be well-defined and is open to people of all faiths. 

✓    If a male, be a Master Mason. Men who join the OES must already be Master Masons (not Apprentice or Fellow Masons) in good standing. The process of becoming a Mason requires learning and demonstrating Masonic values, memorizing Masonic catechisms, and much more.

✓    If female, be a Mason’s relative. Women are not allowed to be Freemasons. However, to join the Eastern Star, they must have a qualifying relationship to a man who is an affiliated Master Mason. A woman with any of the following relationships to a Master Mason may join the OES.
    Wives, daughters, legally adopted daughters, mothers, widows, sisters, half-sisters, granddaughters, stepmothers, stepdaughters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, grandmothers, great granddaughters, nieces, great-nieces, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, and first and second female cousins of affiliated Master Masons in good standing.

✓    Alternatively, be an active member of the IORG or JDI.  Women who do not have one of the relationships to a Freemason listed above but are or have been an active member of the International Order of the Rainbow Girls (IORG) or Job’s Daughter International (JDI) may still join the OES. Both of these organizations are Freemason-affiliated youth organizations that allow girls as young as 10 (for JDI) and 11 (for IORG) to join.

Joining the OES:

✓    Talk to a current member. If you meet the qualifications above, you may apply to join the OES. The easiest way to do this may be to talk to a friend or relative who is already a member. This person will most likely be familiar with your local chapter’s entry requirements and can give you the information necessary to make a decision about applying for membership.

    Additionally, this person can serve as an important character reference, because members of the Masonic organizations (including OES) are required to have good reputations, the word of someone who is already a member can go far towards improving your chances of entry.

✓    Contact a local chapter. You don’t necessarily have to know an OES member to apply. To start the process yourself, simply contact a chapter near you. The precise entry instruction and requirements to reach a chapter may vary, so contacting the nearest chapter directly is a good way to ensure that you have exactly the information you need to join.

    If you’re unsure which OES chapter is nearest you, consult the official listing of the Chapters on this website under the heading “Our Chapters”.

✓    Petition for membership. The Order of the Eastern Star requires applicants to complete and submit an official petition to be considered for membership, accompanied with the appropriate fees and dues applicable for membership. This petition demonstrates your eligibility and desire to become a member. An applicant should expect to provide at least the all of the following:
    ∙    Basic personal information (name, contact info, etc.)
    ∙    An acknowledgement of belief in a supreme being
    ∙    Information about your Masonic status (or your relationship to a Mason)
    ∙    Sometimes, official documentation of your Masonic status (or that of your relation)
    ∙    A small application fee

✓    Receive a majority of the Chapter’s Vote. Petitions are received and carefully read by the OES chapter as they are submitted. You will be visited by a Committee of three (3) members, after which the members of the chapter will then vote on your petition. This vote determines whether you will be admitted to your chapter or not.

✓    Begin attending your chapter’s meetings.  Once you have been admitted to the Order of the Eastern Star, you will be notified and invited into the Order through what’s called an “Initiation”.  Members are not allowed to disclose information with regards to the Initiation Ritual, however, it is based on rituals that have lasted hundreds of years.

    You will also be required to pay a pro-rated portion of the Chapter’s Annual Dues on the night of your initiation along with the General Grand Chapter International Temple Fund Fee.

    It’s worth noting the following official information about membership in the OES
    ∙    Members may commit as much of their time as they wish
    ∙    Your financial wealth does not determine your membership
    ∙    There is no mandatory work for OES members, however, you will be required to learn the Secret Work within 60 days of your initiation 
    ∙    Members are not required to compromise their faith or their patriotism as a part of this membership

Other Information or Tips on the Order of the Eastern Star
∙    The OES has 18 “line officers”. The Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron head the Chapter for a one-year term of office. Here in BC and Yukon, the line officers hold their positions between April to March the following year.
∙    Members enjoy social activities such as breakfast, parties, attending social functions at their own and other chapters.
∙    Meetings are held behind closed doors.
∙    It is a fraternal organization made up of both male and female members.
∙    Interested potential members can attend “open” meetings or installations to learn more about the organization.                
∙    Members participate in philanthropic activities such as toy drives, cancer dressing stations, teas, fund raisers, and the like.
∙    Founded by Dr. Rob Morris, who is the Poet Laureate of Masonry. The OES has been in existence since the mid-1800's.