The California Chapter of the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong will soon be returning to Visalia for its annual convention this fall. The city is pleased to welcome back the Grand Chapter of California, Order of the Eastern Star for their annual session, themed “Our Moment in Time.” Members will gather at the Visalia Convention Center October 26 through 29, 2022, with Worthy Grand Matron Laura Bouwens of Winters, California, and Worthy Grand Patron Scott Smissen of Glendale, California, presiding over the 148th Annual Session.
Since 2014, Visalia has been the host city for the annual convention, which attracts OES members from across the state and beyond for the multi-day event. “We look forward to welcoming the Order of the Eastern Star to Visalia,” said Steve Nelsen, Mayor of Visalia. “With our Convention Center just steps from our pedestrian-friendly downtown core with restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues, it is an ideal location for convention groups such as Order of Eastern Star.”
Special guests to this year’s conference include two high-ranking members from out of state. “We are excited to welcome Glenda Winchester, Most Worthy Grand Matron-Right Worthy Grand Treasurer Emeritus from South Carolina and F. Lon Lowry, Most Worthy Grand Patron from Ohio,” said Laura Bouwens. “They will join General Grand Officers and other Grand Jurisdiction guests who will be visiting our 2022 ‘Our Moment in Time’ Grand Session.”
While the Order of the Eastern Star has evolved over time, it remains rooted in charitable endeavors and fraternal fellowship. It offers its members various opportunities for personal growth and community involvement. The State of California Grand Chapter is divided into 39 districts with myriad chapters within each district.
An Open Installation of the 2023 Grand Officers will close the Grand Chapter session where Kimberlie Kruse of Camarillo, California, will be installed as Worthy Grand Matron, and Gary Dunham of Fairfield, California, will be installed as Worthy Grand Patron.
While the business sessions are restricted to members of the Order, the public is welcome to attend the informal Opening session held on Wednesday, October 26 as well as the Masonic Youth Session and Grand Installation held on Saturday, October 29. Registration is not required for attendance at these public events.
“It has been a joy to interact with the membership all year getting caught up,” noted Scott Smissen, “and we look forward to seeing everyone at Grand Chapter in October.”