History of the Grand Bethel of Maryland
January 20, 2007
(Note: At the 50th Anniversary much of the 25th’s ceremony held on January 16, 1982 was read about how the Grand Bethel began. Upon reading it our first G.B.H.Q.s’ pointed out mistakes. This is an attempt to make the corrections and to capture some of the other beginning history that may no longer be in writing.)
The Grand Bethel of Maryland had the distinct honor of being the first Grand Bethel in the east. Our Grand Bethel is a functioning organization unlike most of the other Grand Bethels, which are honorary. In the beginning, we visited Bethels to make the Grand Bethel known in Maryland.
The Grand Bethel helps Bethels low in membership by substituting for initiations or just to fill vacant offices, assisted at various Grand Guardian Council functions and learned to become adult leaders of our Order. This was the purpose set up by our founders and hopefully we have filled and will continue to fill their wishes.
Mom Minnie Hatfield was Guardian of Bethel Number 6, when she realized that something was needed to keep alive the interests of our Past Honored Queens and Majority Members until they were old enough to become eligible for our Bethel Guardian Councils. While traveling over the states, after her election as Grand Marshal, she discussed with Dad Herman Hanssen, who would later serve as Associate Grand Guardian with Mom Hatfield, her thoughts on a Grand Bethel. So she recorded in a notebook all her ideas on the subject.
In 1956, at Grand Session, an amendment was proposed and passed to start a Grand Bethel in Maryland. Every Bethel received a letter about attending a meeting in regards to starting a Grand Bethel in October 1956 at the Odd Fellows Temple. At this meeting, it was decided that only Past Honored Queens and Majority Members could hold membership in the Grand Bethel. The second meeting was held in November 1956, where Mom Hatfield and Dad Hanssen announced the first set of core officers and all present got an office. After which they were to be elected and appointed. Mom Dorothy and Dad Basil Holman were appointed as the first Grand Bethel Guardian and Associate Grand Bethel Guardian.
The colors light blue and white were chosen. These were Mom Minnie Hatfield’s colors from her term as Grand Guardian of Maryland. The officers would wear white evening gowns with blue sashes lettered in gold.
The date of January 26, 1957 was selected for the first installation at the Palestine Masonic Lodge in Catonsville, Maryland. The Grand Officers and the State DeMolay Officers served as installing officers and escorts. The DeMolay escorted each girl in the room for the installation. Howard Matthew, then State Master Councilor, escorted Annette Stumpf who was installed as Grand Bethel Honored Queen.
Many things happened in the first year of the Grand Bethel. The By-Laws were written and that is when the age of 25 was chosen as the age a girl would receive her majority. They also promoted the Grand Bethel to the Bethels. A dinner was served before the Grand Visitation for Grand Bethel.
The original Grand Bethel was closed and they had an Inner and Outer Guards. Joan Hoppe Edelen was the last charter member to be G.B.H.Q. The Roll Book that was found begins with March 1964 and this was the last time an Inner Guard was shown. Emily Novotny was G.B.H.Q.
When the Grand Bethel was formed there was a Grand Bethel Secretary and a Grand Bethel Treasurer. At some point the two offices were combined to one. The Roll Book beginning March 1964 already had the offices combined to be Grand Bethel Secretary/Treasurer. In September 1996 the two offices were separated once again.
Grand Bethel had no money. The Grand Guardian Council provided some start up money but it was not much. The crowns were bought and when their term was over as G.B.H.Q. they got to keep their crown. There was no permanent crown to pass on. The G.B.H.Q. and GB Princesses had the same crowns. The oldest Minute Books found begin with May 1965. It reflects that in September 1965 the outgoing G.B.H.Q., Alma Lee, was presented with a crown by the newly installed G.B.H.Q., Peggy Heffner. This means that permanent crowns were purchased prior to September 1965. These outgoing G.B.H.Q.s’ crowns were purchased from Schenfeld and Sons Bridal Fabrics 103 Hester Street New York 2, New York. They were Aurora Rhinestone Crowns which cost $5.50 each. By October 1969 the outgoing G.B.H.Q.s’ crowns were not being made by Schenfeld any more. The next set of five outgoing G.B.H.Q.s’ crowns were purchased at The Yardstick.
-2- Grand Bethel of Maryland 50th Anniversary (Continued)
It was the wish of our first Grand Bethel Honored Queen, Annetta Stumpf, that her parents present the Grand Bethel our altar Bible. The Bible was later used by her at her installation as Grand Guardian of Maryland. All the ceremonies, opening, closing, installation and welcome were written by Mrs. Stumpf, Annetta’s mother. The Welcome Ceremony was written and the following items used in the ceremony were donated by:
Bible – given by Pearl and Porter Anderson
Urn – given by Dorothy and Basil Holman
Incense – given by Betty (Cantwell) Smith
Lily – given by Mabel Williams
Dove – given by Walter White
Other items used by the Grand Bethel were donated by:
Large wooden emblem – made and given by William Conard
The American Flag was purchased at the Flag and Banner House on Park Avenue where Dorothy Holman worked. The American Flag was donated by the Holmans. The Minute Books has that in April 1968 a Grand Bethel Flag was ordered from the same place.
Annette Stumpf like the hymn “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” This was used as the closing song for Special Meetings and the Semi-Annual Meetings. According to the oldest Minute Book found shows this hymn was used every six months through September 1968. Then it was recorded as using different songs.
Anne (Schwartz) Seeger had the first majority ceremony which was written by Anne (Schwartz) Seeger. The first persons to receive their majority were Annette Stumpf Poff and Jane Gilland Knode. The certificates were individually made by Shirley Beach.
They would meet once a month wherever they could fine a lodge or church that would let them meet for free. The Minute Book found beginning with May 1965 shows that many of the meetings were held in different Grand Bethel girls homes. The Semi-Annual Sessions were held in a lodge, a church or a school. A special ceremony was written for the outgoing G.B.H.Q. at her last meeting.
The first G.B.H.Q., Annetta (Stumpf) Poff and the second G.B.H.Q., Doris (Morris) Chickering each served a one year term. The third G.B.H.Q., Anne (Schwartz) Seeger, served eleven months when it was changed to six month terms. They chose March and September terms so they would not interfere with the Bethel’s terms. This also allowed the Grand Bethel to get petitions to the outgoing Bethel Honored Queens.
The first sashes were made of blue ribbons with gold letters pasted on. We then switched to ribbons with letters stamped on. The silver disk necklace jewels replaced the sashes somewhere between 1963-1965. These original jewels were made by a jeweler in Glen Burnie, Maryland. These were plain round disks engraved with the office or the representative. The Grand Bethel pins were made in 1958-1959 by John Trockenbrot and they were gold and blue or silver and blue. They had a special blue dye they created for the pins. In April 1967, they came up with the idea of sodering the Grand Bethel pin in yellow gold onto a silver disk with engraving around it. In July 1967 the officers’ jewels were ordered. They kept their chains. They got new clasps and the chains cleaned. At the afternoon business meeting in September 1967, these jewels were presented to the officers. A Jewel Ceremony was written by Sharon Conard and narrated by Ginny Richards. The silver disk medallions were made by Trockenbrot in Baltimore, Maryland. In March 1970, permission was given to Pete Lewis to make jewels for the representatives.
The first capes were white with a blue lining. Mom Hatfield made the capes. In October 1965 the Grand Bethel voted to purchase material to make three new capes. It was white satan for the outside and light blue for the lining. Emily Novotny got the material and made the capes. In June 1973, the Grand Bethel moved to have new capes made and the outside would be blue and the lining would be white. The capes were made by Mrs. Cooper, the mother of Jeanne Cooper, who was installed with the new cape in September 1973.
The Minute Book found shows that in September 1967 about 8-10 girls would perform The Lord’s Prayer Interpretation. The song was on a record and the girls would make different movements to the words of the song. The girls did this like a pan to mime. All the girls did the same motions but they did not sing. The Grand Bethel would be invited to perform The Lord’s Prayer Interpretation. This was performed for different Bethels, Parents Nights and for the Eastern Star and Masons to promote the Grand Bethel.
In November 1971, it was noted in the Minute Book that Delaware was considering starting a Grand Bethel. The Grand Bethel agreed to send them the By-Laws and a copy of the Handbook. The Grand Bethel of Delaware was started in July 1972. This was just the beginning of a long relationship the Grand Bethel of Maryland had with the Grand Bethel of Delaware.
In February 1972, it was in the Minute Book that a motion was made and accepted to have a formal meeting each term in addition to the Semi-Annual Session. The next formal meeting would be in June 1972.
In March 1972, the Minute Book notes that the Grand Bethel made a motion and was accepted to purchase a supreme Bible for Annetta Stumpf for her installation as Supreme Guardian. The Bible was presented to Annetta on June 10, 1972 and it was engraved later. The Grand Bethel is truly proud of our first Honored Queen who in August of 1972 was installed as Supreme Guardian. The Grand Bethel at the Baltimore Supreme Session in August of 1973 served as tour guides for the visitors, served refreshments following the Supreme Bethel installation and performed the church service before everyone left for home.
Another memory of the Grand Bethel occurred on April 7, 1978 when we traveled to Cordland Chapter Order of Eastern Star in Peekskill, New York. The purpose of this Special Meeting was to exemplify a regular Bethel opening, special ceremony honoring Eastern Star, Good of the Bethel, and a regular Bethel closing. Twenty three officers, representatives and majority members performed the ritual work. The members formed a star west of the altar. After the ceremony, we sang “How Great Thou Art.” The G.B.H.Q. was Laura Callis and the Grand Guardian of Maryland was Mary E. Walter who issued a Special Dispensation for Exemplification. Also with us was the Associate Supreme Guardian, Roy Wyne.
We all had to memorize our parts, our robes cleaned and pressed and practiced for hours. When we arrived in New York after a long ride, we were served dinner and then relaxed before the meeting. When we entered the room, Job’s Daughters was explained to those in attendance, in hopes that we could promote the Order and a Bethel would emerge.
Well, all our hard work paid off when we received a standing ovation as we retired with everyone in the room in tears including us. It had to be the most rewarding and impressive night any of us who were there will remember. All of us were so wound up that we sang all the way home.
Over the years, we have helped with and attended many Grand Guardian Council activities and events such as performing the church service in Ocean City, serving as runners at the Miss Job’s Daughters Pageant, helping out at the Grand Master’s Youth Day, Field Day, attending Official Visitations and anything else we are requested to do.
We’ve had many ways and means projects and done just about anything as far as activities go like – skiing, camping, dinner theaters, ice skating and bicycling. Twice a year we have our tea at Bonnie Blink for the residents and they always have a good time. We even played Bingo with them.
Many of our Grand Bethel members have become Council members over the years. Some have become Guardians, seven P.G.B.H.Q.’s have become Grand Guardians, our first G.B.H.Q. became Supreme Guardian. So we hope that we have in some way satisfied the dreams of our founders by learning to become adult leaders. Our Grand Bethel members will impart what Grand Bethel means:
G – Growing to help others grow
R – Raising our standards high
A – Aiming toward the best we know
N – Nearing our goals of friendship
D – Determined to always try
B – Bringing our best efforts here
E – Encouraging our Bethels work
T – Training ourselves to serve
H – Hoping throughout the years
E – Endeavoring not to shirk
L – Loving Job’s Daughters without reserve
Last but not least, we would like to thank all of our Past Grand Bethel Guardians and Past Associate Grand Bethel Guardians for guiding us during the years and supporting us when we decided to try something new. Without you we would not have gotten a lot of things accomplished. To all past and present members of the Grand Bethel we thank you for your contributions to the growth of our Grand Bethel. Each of you through your office or committee has helped us along the path. And to our Job’s Daughters may you think of a future as a Grand Bethel member so that you will learn the adult end of our Order and be ready to serve.
We would like to share a thought with all of you that we found in Mom Hatfield’s notes and we feel it applies to all of us:
“As I look out over this assembly, I am thinking of the future of you girls – what kind of citizens you will make in the world of tomorrow. For you are the girls who must assume OUR responsibilities. Each one of you has a duty to perform in some way or other for the benefit of our international Order of Job’s Daughters. The leaders of our Order, having the control and direction of the lives of our Job’s Daughters, have a great influence on the days to come. These daughters who are to be the mothers of tomorrow must have a sobering influence on the direction that this Nation takes. And if they have the patience they have been taught – the perseverance implanted in their hearts and minds, we will have nothing to fear. Today we are looking toward a vision of a new and greater world where all nations will be able to live in peace and harmony; where all people can work together and find fulfillment in a common good. Spiritually, we are more closely banded together in a brotherhood of understanding. Won’t you all agree with me, then, that the adult organization of our Order presents a challenge to each of you? Just how will you answer that challenge? I think I know – it’s called ‘The Job’s Daughter Way…’”
A big Thank You to Anne (Schwartz) Seeger, P.G.B.H.Q. October 1958-September 1959, for providing the corrections and additional historical information. Thank you to Dalene Drum, Grand Bethel Guardian in January 2008 for allowing Karen to look through the Minute Books she had. Thank you to many P.G.B.H.Q.s Karen spoke with to help get and confirm various information. This process began in January 2007 and finally all came together January 2008.
Karen (Appell) Goodrich
P.G.B.H.Q. September 1980 – March 1981