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International Order of the Rainbow for Girls

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  • Carol Hamman Sweet (1930 - 2006)
    Born January 8, 1930, with her twin Carl Eugene, in Mansfield, she was the daughter of Albert and Lestia (Young) Hamman. She spent her entire life in the Mansfield area, graduating from Mansfield Senio...
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    Dollie Lynda Swaney (1924 - 1941)
    From the Reno Evening Gazette, Monday, November 10, 1941, page 4:In Reno, November 10, 1941 - Dollie Lynda Swaney, daughter of Mrs. Gladys Swaney and the late Harry Swaney of Sparks, granddaughter of J...
  • Sandra Lynn Lobsinger (1938 - 2004)
    Find a Grave Birth: Feb. 25, 1938 Council Bluffs Pottawattamie County Iowa, USADeath: Jun. 25, 2004 Kansas City Jackson County Missouri, USASandra Lynn Blank Lobsinger, 66, of Llano, N.M., formerly o...

Please add those who have been members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG) is a non-profit, Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service & three basic virtues: Faith in a Supreme Being and other people, having Hope in all that they do, and Charity toward others. Girls (ages 11–20/21) learn about the value of charity and service through their work and involvement with their annual local and Grand (state or country) service projects. In addition, the Bow has a group for younger girls (ages 5–10) called a Pledge Group. This group teaches younger girls about Rainbow.

History: The order came into existence in 1922, when the Reverend W. Mark Sexson, a Freemason, was asked to make an address before South McAlester Chapter #149, Order of the Eastern Star, in McAlester, Oklahoma. As the Order of DeMolay had come under his close study during his Masonic activities, he suggested that a similar order for girls would be beneficial. The first Initiation consisted of a class of 171 girls on April 6, 1922, in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester. The original name was "Order of the Rainbow for Girls".

Officers:

  • Girls can hold many different offices (also called Stations) in the local Assembly. Each requires some memory work and all but two serve for one term (4 to 6 months out of the year). Some offices are elected by the other girls in the assembly. These offices include Faith, Hope, Charity, Worthy Associate Advisor, and Worthy Advisor. There are also two offices that are elected in January but serve a full year which are Treasurer and Recorder. The other offices are appointed by the Worthy Advisor (President) and Mother Advisor.
  • Some Assemblies and Grand Assemblies have other officers not specified in the ritual, such as Historian, Editor, Assistant Grand Editor, Circulation Manager, Orator (or Lecturer), Bible Bearer, Goodwill Ambassador, American Flag Bearer, State Flag Bearer, Christian Flag Bearer, Rainbow Flag Bearer, and Assembly Banner Bearer.

Locations:

  • The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has Assemblies in 47 states in the United States as well as in several other countries. The states that do not currently have Assemblies are Delaware, Utah, and Wyoming. (South Dakota instituted its first assembly in 2006.)
  • The countries outside the United States that have assemblies are Aruba, Australia (in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia), Bolivia, Brazil (in Parana and São Paulo), Canada (in Ontario and New Brunswick), the Philippines, Italy, Mexico, and Romania. Rainbow has had assemblies in the following countries, mostly due to American military presence: Cuba, France, Panama and Vietnam.
  • Its headquarters are at the International Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma built in 1950-1951 for the Order's use.

Being related to a Master Mason is not a requirement for Rainbow membership. Interested girls must submit an application to an Assembly and members of that Assembly will meet with the girl to answer any questions the girl may have and to make sure she is a proper candidate to receive the degrees. Once the application is accepted, the assembly will vote on accepting the candidate into the Assembly. Membership then starts with an Initiation Ceremony.

Members are expected to serve their community, be law-abiding, acknowledge the authority of the Supreme Assembly, and show loyalty to the other members, among other things. In 2000, the rules for Eastern Star were changed so that majority members of Rainbow were eligible for membership in that Order. For girls between ages 6 and 10, some jurisdictions have a "Pledge" program for prospective members, so that they can become familiar with Rainbow ceremonies and activities.

Majority Membership is reached in two ways. A girl receives age majority when she reaches her 20th birthday, or marriage majority if she marries before age 20. Also, depending on the jurisdiction, girls are given the choice of extending their membership until they reach the age of 21. For this to be granted, the girl must write a letter expressing her interest in extending her active service and present it to her Supreme Deputy/Inspector.

Additional Reading: