BRATTLEBORO — The Bingham Chapter #30, Order of the Eastern Star, is a concordant body of Freemasonry. Unlike the Masonic lodge itself, whose membership is only for men, the membership of the star involves both women and men. However, it is the women members who have the greater say regarding the activities and projects that are conducted by the Chapter.
Men are required to be Master Masons from a regular lodge of Freemasons to become members; and the women need to be related to a Master Mason or have been a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls for at least three years when they were in their teens, and must be 18 years of age.
Bingham Chapter #30 Order of the Eastern Star has existed in Brattleboro since 1890, and has been active in the community for almost 130 years. Unfortunately, membership in the Bingham Chapter has dwindled to 40 members, half of whom have moved to live in other parts of the nation.
Over the years, Eastern Star members have donated to many local and regional causes: Reformer Christmas Stocking; Groundworks Collaborative; Brattleboro Centre for Children, Pool Learning Center, Project Feed the Thousands, and others.
As part of the Grand Chapter of Vermont, they have donated to the Penguin Plunge, which raises money for Special Olympics; the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which provides funds for seriously ill children; as well as sending relief funds to help other chapters recover from natural or man-made disasters.
To conduct regular meetings the Grand Chapter of Vermont requires that each chapter have a minimum of seven members attend each meeting.
The Bingham Chapter says that attendance has now dropped to six members out of the remaining 20 who reside in the Brattleboro area, amd they hope that some members of Brattleboro Lodge and their spouses will consider joining.
Anyone in the Brattleboro community who has a background in Freemasonry or the Eastern Star are welcome to inquire about membership. Masons can be members without their being involved and women who are Masonically-affiliated can be involved without their husbands being members of the Star.
If you are interested in learning more about the Eastern Star, and possibly joining, call either Carol or Steve Farrington at 802-257-0464 or email [email protected].