|Meetings: 2nd Monday
Unity Chapter meets on both the 2nd and 4th Mondays in April and September.
Meeting Time: 7:30 PM
Location: 303 A North Main St, Austin, MN 55912
See map: Google Maps
Phone Number: 507-433-2533
In Recess: July & August
Constituted: May 26, 1890
HISTORY OF UNITY CHAPTER #29, ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
Unity Chapter #29 had its inception on March 19, 1890, in the Hall of Fidelity Lodge #39, A.F. & A.M. Sixty persons were present to organize the Chapter. The group was under dispensation until May 28, 1890, when the charter was granted. The first officers were Abbie Crane, Worthy Matron, and Eugene Wood, Worthy Patron.
The name UNITY was selected because the group assembled to organize were united in the purpose of forming a chapter. The name has been significant because, through the years, the Chapter has remained united in carrying on the purposes and ideals of the Order of the Eastern Star.
In the early years, the Chapter met in the homes of members for its social events because it was difficult to heat the large hall, and wood and water had to be carried up the long flight of stairs. Kitchen facilities, also, were inadequate. But, in spite of these difficulties, Unity Chapter grew and prospered.
Records indicate a variety of methods to raise funds for yearly charitable projects and to aid Fidelity Lodge in projects for the hall. Really early projects included quilt block committees, dimity balls, book parties, and taffy pulls. The next era of projects included cake walks, silent auctions, salad luncheon – card parties, paper drives, bakeless bake sales, and chow mein luncheons. More recent projects include successful floral deliveries for Mothers Day and Valentines Day, Election Day Salad Luncheons, and Super Bowl Spaghetti Dinner.
Over the years, proceeds from these activities have allowed the Chapter to support not only Minnesota Grand Chapter projects but also projects that benefited the Austin area. Donations have been given to the Austin Public Schools, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Austin Public Library, Mower County Humane Society, and Hormel Institute, to name a few. Some of the projects within the hall that benefit all groups which meet there include: carpet, drapes, kitchen equipment, dishes and silverware, card tables, cup racks, chairs, etc.
Through the years, Unity Chapter secretaries have recorded many special events in our minute books: receptions for Grand Officers, honorings of Past Matrons and Past Patrons and the stations of various officers, memorials to lost members, and other special observances.
Members have served Minnesota Grand Chapter as Grand Officers, Grand Pages, Grand Representatives, District Instructors, security, and chair -person and members of various committees. Several members have served in various positions at the General Grand Chapter level, also.
April 10 Installation of Officers at 2 p.m.
April 11 Back to the Basics Night
April 25 Honor the Station of Adah
May 3 Scholarship Dinner
May 5 – 7 Grand Chapter in St. Cloud
May 9 Honor Mothers / Grand Chapter
June 13 Honor Fathers/Flag Day
DARK JULY AND AUGUST
July 10 All Masonic Picnic
September 5 Pizza Ranch Tip Night
September 12 School of Instruction
Rob Morris Night
September 26 Honor 50 year members
October 4 Fidelity Lodge Table Lodge
October 10 Friendship and Bag Night
Honor Grand Representatives
November 8 Election Day Salad Luncheon
November 14 Honor Veterans
December 4 All Masonic Christmas Dinner
December 12 Christmas Observance
January 9 Stone Soup Night
February 5 Spaghetti Dinner
February 13 Honor Masons and Presidents’
Day “The Women Behind the Men”
March 13 Election, Reports, Memorial Service
We have just completed our 125th year as a Chapter.
Plans will be made for a celebration, date to be determined.
As long as we have memories,
As long as we have hope,
As long as we have friendship,
Dear Sisters and Brothers
Installation is over and a new, blank page is waiting for the events of our 126th year.
Thank you to each officer and committee member for saying yes. We do appreciate your continued dedication and support. As a Chapter last year, we did well in our projects and with our community donations. Once again we were aided by matching grants from Minnesota Masonic Charities and we made sure the community knew that.
This year we are honoring the Station of Adah; the honoring is scheduled for our next meeting, April 25. So, if you served as Adah, please come and join us.
We ask that you mark Tuesday, May 3, on your calendars. This will be a combined Fidelity Lodge and Unity Chapter dinner to honor Masonic widows and our scholarship recipients. The Chapter and the Lodge will present three $1,000 scholarships each, which will be matched by Charities. Therefore, each of our scholarship winners will receive a $2,000 grant. Please join us if you can. We would really like to have a terrific turnout of members, as these young people and their parents are very appreciative and this dinner provides an opportunity to let them get to know us.
Grand Chapter is in St. Cloud May 5-7 and Georgianne Johnson will be installed Saturday evening as the Worthy Grand Matron. A number of us will be going and we will report back to you. Hopefully, we will again visit with Christine and Chris Hammer from Michigan. Christine is the Grand Representative of Minnesota residing in Michigan. She is the daughter of Marge and Wayne Johnson. Christine’s husband Chris is again the official soloist for Michigan and both are members of Unity Chapter. Kathy informed you several weeks ago that a reception for them in Michigan is planned. It is coming up soon; so, if you would like to send them a card, their address is
2325 N. Amble Road
Coral, Michigan 49322-9752
I’m sure many of you watched Christine grow up and might remember when Wayne and his daughters were initiated.
We have a few big events this year, one of which is a celebration of our 125 years. This is scheduled as an open house tea on Sunday, August 14. I have asked at Chapter twice and now in this newsletter that if you can help in the planning or have some ideas, please let us know. Time is short. Thank you in advance.
We have other news about our members, also.
Mid Hartman celebrated her 95th birthday April 13. Her family is planning an open house in her honor on Saturday, April 23rd, from 2-4 p.m. Cards can be sent to Mid at Comforcare, 1201-17th St. N.E. Room 306. All are welcome to come and celebrate with them.
Several weeks ago, our secretary, Kathy Foster, told us that she was considering running for Associate Grand Conductress. At our meeting Monday, April 11, she said that she had made her decision and is filing and asked for our support, which we readily give and wish Kathy the very best. We will support her to the best of our ability.
And, finally, at Grand Lodge this past weekend, the Grand Lodge delegates approved my election to the Board of Directors of Minnesota Masonic Charities. I attended my first informational meeting this past Tuesday, April 12, and have much to learn and will be very busy. I am excited.
This is all for now. More will be coming after Grand Chapter.
Mary A. Hanson