|Volume LIX||August 2012||Number 3|
Pennsylvania Rainbow GROWS
The Rainbow Girls of Pennsylvania had a 20.4 percent increase in total initiates in 2011. Statewide, 65 new members were initiated during the year, bringing the total membership to 325 after all losses, showing total annual growth for the first time in many years. Butler Assembly No. 25 initiated the most new sisters with eight, and Altoona No. 188 was a close second, having initiated seven new sisters in 2011. In December, Philadelphia Assembly No. 47 initiated four new members and reactivated its charter. They will be meeting at the Tacony Lodge with the support of Lodge No. 2, Lodge No. 9, Tacony Lodge No. 600 and Sarah E. Collins Amaranth Court. On Feb. 11, 2012, Wilkes-Barre Assembly No. 45 initiated the first new member of 2012 for PA Rainbow during an official visit of Grand Worthy Advisor Diana Jolly.
District Deputy Grand Masters Richard N. Fitzsimmons, Masonic District 24 (left) and Bernard D. Hanmore, Masonic District 25 (right) joined Supreme Deputy Helen Snedden in reopening Northern Star Assembly No. 122, which is sponsored by Western Star Lodge No. 304, Abion. Rainbow Girls from the Grand Assembly presided at the ceremony, where four new girls were initiated into the Northern Star Assembly. Parents and guests were on hand to witness the reopening and installation. Mrs. Leeann Doritty, (3rd row, right) was installed as Mother Advisor.
The joining process for Rainbow Girls parallels the traditional process established by Freemasonry. When a girl wants to join the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, she is given a petition by the Mother Advisor. The completed petition is signed by the petitioner, a parent, two Rainbow Girls and a Majority Rainbow Girl or a Mason, Eastern Star, Amaranth or White Shrine member. While many Rainbow Girls come from Masonic families, Masonic affiliation is not required for membership.
The petition is first read at a Rainbow stated meeting. A committee of visitation is assigned to meet with the girl and her family and inform them of the rules, customs and all the opportunities available in PA Rainbow. The Advisory Board approves the petition, which is then given to the Assembly for a ballot. When approved, the petitioner is notified of the date of Initiation.
When a girl attends her Initiation, she is encouraged to dress formally, in a long white gown for the occasion, in accordance with the PA Rainbow dress code. Some girls cannot immediately afford a new gown, and many Assemblies share a collection of gowns that members have outgrown. Regardless, all new sisters are welcomed with open arms.
During Initiation, there are seven degrees presented by the seven officers seated at the Bow Stations on the east side of the Altar, teaching the lessons of Love, Religion, Nature, Immortality, Fidelity, Patriotism and Service. There also are lessons of Faith, Hope and Charity. The lessons follow an obligation assumed at the Altar. Initiation meetings take about 75 minutes from start to finish, and the girls become full voting members at that time. When a girl with a Masonic relative joins, it is very meaningful to have that Mason present for the ceremonies, and it is something that she will never forget.
In December 2011, Philadelphia Assembly No. 47 initiated four new members and reactivated its Charter.
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