Eastern Star Chapter celebrates 110 years

By on September 9, 2019

On Saturday, August 24, Mary Jane Holmes Chapter #440 of the Order of the Eastern Star, formed in 1909, celebrated their 110th birthday.  Present were members of the Chapter and their relatives, as well as members from other Eastern Star Chapters in the Monroe County area.

The Chapter was named after local writer Mary Jane Holmes, famous for her more than 39 romance novels written between 1854 and 1907. The home in Brockport where she lived most of her life, once a sprawling brown building on College Street, is now a modest yellow house with a historical marker in front.

To reflect the time period in which she lived, the event was held in the Morgan-Manning House on Main Street, as it is a residence Mary Jane Holmes would have frequented.

Attendees enjoyed a variety of refreshments, beautifully displayed on the dining room table, as they chatted with one another and viewed the seven display boards with photos and newspaper articles linked to the history of the Chapter.

Matron Donna Laundry read a brief history of the Chapter’s beginning in 1909, its activities through the years, and plans for the future. Mary Jane Holmes Chapter will merge with Spencerport’s Etoleah Chapter in the fall, to become Etoleah Holmes Chapter #183.

Secretary Shirley Mercer presented a 50-year pin to Joan Buddle, and certificate to each member in attendance indicating the number of years they belonged to the Chapter, ranging from one to 65 years. Patron Steve Pawlak assisted in the distribution. Out-of-state members will have their certificates mailed to them.

After a toast from Past Grand Patron Neil Laundry, those gathered sang their last Happy Birthday song and enjoyed birthday cake. As a remembrance, favors were given to each person there.

Many members helped plan and execute this celebration, each doing their part to contribute to the success of the day.

Well-known local painter Dianne Hickerson served as the photographer of the event. The Chapter is grateful for her assistance in helping to preserve their memories of the day.

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Shown (l-r): front row – Neil Laundry, Donna Laundry, Marie Knittle, Steve Pawlak; middle row – Wilson Buddle, Joan Buddle, Wendy Ebersole, Linda LeTouzel, Sue Malak, Barb Cleary; back row – Debra Leipold, Sheri Ainsworth, Shirley Mercer, Janice Smith, Ruth Moore, Laurie Smith, and Joan Hare. Photo by Dianne Hickerson

Shown (l-r): front row – Neil Laundry, Donna Laundry, Marie Knittle, Steve Pawlak; middle row – Wilson Buddle, Joan Buddle, Wendy Ebersole, Linda LeTouzel, Sue Malak, Barb Cleary; back row – Debra Leipold, Sheri Ainsworth, Shirley Mercer, Janice Smith, Ruth Moore, Laurie Smith, and Joan Hare. Photo by Dianne Hickerson