I joined IOJD, Bethel #67, in the fall of 1970. Initiation was held downtown at the
Neighbors of Woodcraft building, where South Gate Lodge held their meetings.
I think that there were three of us initiated that evening, and I believe that it was
the Official Visit. If memory serves me, Meryl Reardon was the Grand
Guardian. I remember her as being a very happy, friendly lady with a great
We were a very active group. We held slumber parties, car washes, dime-a-dip
dinners, kidnap breakfasts, paper drives...you name it...I think we did it. We
also had a drill team. We competed in the Military Drill division. Bethel #1
always seemed to win. But we had fun competing.
The most prominent family would have been the Owens. Five Owens girls held
the office of Honored Queen....Marje, Jan, Kim, Lori and Penny. Mac Owens
rose to the rank of Associate Grand Guardian. His wife, Coral, held the office of
Grand Secretary, and later Grand Guardian. When she was elected Grand
Secretary, we gave her the name "Our Grand Corky". I recall all of us going in
and out of her motel room the afternoon of the Grand Council Installation with
hidden buckets of ice. We filled the tub to that we could chill the sodas for the
party after the installation.
In the spring of 1974, the Owens asked me if I would demit and join Bethel #65.
They were struggling for members and had a line officer drop out. I was the
Chaplain at Bethel #67 in the fall of 1973, and by January 1974, I was Senior
Princess at #65.
I continued to be active after my term as Honored Queen. I assisted by filling in
as an officer including Treasurer, First and Fifth Messenger and Junior
Princess. Once I reached majority, I served as Guardian Treasurer and then as
Guardian. I also served as the State Jewelry Chairman when Mrs. Owens was
Grand Guardian. During that year, I was able to start something new...selling
tiaras at the jewelry booth at events. I had found a jeweler in the Dekum
Building in downtown Portland, Mr. Katzan. He had a mess of a warehouse on
the top floor, but he was a sweetheart. We sold a lot of tiaras!
Sadly, Bethel #65 could not overcome a lack of membership and we folded. I
then returned to Bethel #67 to assist, eventually becoming Bethel Guardian.
Lots of great memories!
Kathy (Neumann) Reese