The Masonic Family
The Masonic family is a loosely defined grouping of organizations that are in some way related to the Freemasons. Becoming a Rainbow girl makes you a part of the Masonic family. The core values of all these organizations are the same as they have always been: service, philanthropy, and community.
Freemasonry was founded over 600 years ago with the earliest reference to Masons being printed around 1390. The widely accepted theory is Freemasonry began as a union-like organization for stonemasons, creating rituals and symbols that helped them identify fellow craftsmen, as well as their level of skill. As Freemasonry spread across the globe, it became the largest organization in the world. Due to its sheer size, it was inevitable that a large percentage of the names you read about throughout history, were Freemasons. Some of these names include George Washington, Albert Pike, Paul Revere, Bob Hope, and Benjamin Franklin. Even Chief Justice John Marshall, who shaped the Supreme Court into its present form, was a Mason.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, the Masonic family created the first “social safety net” as our government had not yet done so. They founded orphanages, retirement communities, and homes for widows, providing security to thousands who would have otherwise been forgotten. One of the great achievements of the Masonic family are the children’s hospitals built and operated by the Scottish Rite and the Nile Shrine. There are 22 Nile Shrine hospitals still in operation today and they provide free medical care to qualifying children and assistance to their families. It was also Freemasons who supported the first public schools in America and Europe.
The Freemasons have a very long history, and it was only a matter of time before organizations for their wives, sons, and daughters were formed. In 1850, The Order of the Eastern Star was founded as a place for Masonic wives to find the same fellowship and outlet for helping others their husbands had found with Masons. In 1919, 69 years later, DeMolay International was formed for boys ages 12-21. In the next three years, Job’s Daughters International and The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls were founded for daughters and granddaughters of Masons. While it is still a requirement of Job’s Daughters to be from a Masonic home, Rainbow opened up their membership to all girls ages 11 – 20 shortly after it began. However, many youth may be surprised to learn that their Grandfather or Uncle were Masons, and therefore, they would be eligible to join any of the Masonic youth organizations.
The Masonic family is diverse, and has branched into many organizations, but the core is the same as it has always been: service above self.
With any Masonic organization you go to, you will find a group of girls, boys, men, and women, focused on helping others, and elevating people to a better place.
For more information about the Masonic family in Washington and Idaho, please visit the following websites:
Free and Accepted Masons
Order of the Eastern Star
Order of the Amaranth
Job’s Daughters International