Oregon Masonic & Eastern Star Home
In August of 2004, the Masonic & Eastern Star Home Board of Trustees voted to suspend action on application for admission to Life Care at the Jennings McCall Center. The primary reason behind this decision was brought about by a severe decline in revenue from the investment fund earnings used to support Life Care members, coupled with significant increases in the cost of health care, labor and supplies provided to Life Care members. To sustain the levels of care and attention for remaining members this moratorium will remain in affect until the Board determines that we can prudently accept additional members.
In May of 2009, the Board of Trustees voted to approve OutReach Services in Oregon. The purpose of OutReach is to identify and coordinate needed services for members that may improve the quality of their life and help them stay in an independent living situation. This will be achieved by collaboration of the Masonic & Eastern Star Home, OutReach Coordinator and members of Masonic Lodges and Eastern Star Chapters. OutReach Services is for eligible members who may be experiencing declining health and/or difficulty functioning in the home, feelings of isolation, living in an environment that is rundown, unsanitary, or unsafe, and/or having difficulty accessing transportation. For more information please contact the OutReach Coordinator at the Masonic Grand Lodge.
History of the Masonic & Eastern Star Home
The original Home was opened in Forest Grove on March 1, 1922. Life Care members now reside at the Jennings McCall Center Assisted Living facility located directly north of the original Home building.
The initial attempt to establish an Oregon Masonic Home for "the aged and distressed" was introduced in 1883 by Worshipful Brother J.P. Galbraith, Master of Brownsville Lodge No. 36. The adopted resolution, however, was postponed and further action was delayed for 33 years. In 1907 Pendleton Lodge No. 52 voted to set aside $150 for the express intent of starting a fund to ultimately build a Grand Lodge Masonic Home. This money was kept with other invested funds of the Grand Lodge, and in 1917 the principal and interest came to $250. That year, Most Worshipful Grand Master Will Moore (Pendleton No. 52) again brought forth the idea of establishing a Masonic Home. He said, "There is a growing sentiment throughout the jurisdiction for the establishment of a Masonic Home in this state". It sometimes appears to me that we in Oregon are too satisfied with our position as Masons, that we dwell too much in the past and are too prone to boast of the achievements of Masonry and of the great things it has done, and that we pay too little attention to the present and the preparation for the future". Would not a Masonic Home, symbolizing as it does those great tenets of Masonry - brotherly love, relief and truth - be an incentive for higher thoughts, nobler deeds and grander achievements? Would it not become at once a center around which we might erect an everlasting monument to the true and beautiful principles of Masonry?" The Committee on the Masonic Home presented its report and called for a special fund to be established. It would be known as the "Masonic & Eastern Star Home Building Fund." Gifts, devises, and bequests would be received for that purpose; the minimum fees for degrees would be increased and for every Entered Apprentice initiated each lodge would forward $5 of that sum to the Grand Secretary as part of the building fund; and the net income of the Grand Lodge from all sources except the Educational Fund, after the deduction of expenses and appropriations, would be set aside at the end of each Masonic year in this fund. When it had grown to $50,000, work began on the building at the chosen site in Forest Grove.
In 1922 the Home had been built, furnished and was maintained from the money available in the Home fund and there was a surplus on hand. Only 68 percent of this had been paid by the Oregon lodges, and all but three lodges had contributed something. The Masonic & Eastern Star Home opened for guests on March 1, 1922. On June 14, 1922, the Home was dedicated. In 1948 an increase in per capita fees was adopted to increase the Maintenance Fund of the Home. Today, as then, the Home still relies upon donations and bequests, degree work funds, and per capita of $5 for each Master Mason in Oregon, to operate. The Home is the sole charitable fund of the Grand Lodge and puts into practice the obligation that we have all subscribed to - one of the highest precepts of the Masonic Order.
The Home is there for the purpose of caring for those Oregon Master Masons, their wives and mothers, and the wives and widows of deceased Oregon Master Masons, and Sisters of the Order of the Eastern Star in Oregon, who are in need. The Home Board is composed of five representatives of the Grand Lodge and three representatives of the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of Oregon. The Board meets monthly to deal with the business of the Home.
For more information on the Masonic & Eastern Star Home write to the Grand Secretary, the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M., 2150 Masonic Way, Forest Grove, OR, 97116.