Grand Assembly of Texas History
The Order of the Rainbow for Girls was organized in Texas on April 6, 1922, when Mrs. Daisy Cushing, wife of Dr. Daniel N. Cushing, Past Master of San Antonio Chapter No. 2, was appointed the first Supreme Deputy in Texas. It was through her efforts and the Masons and Eastern Stars of Texas that Rainbow was accepted and approval was given to the Assemblies in their sponsorship. Mrs. Cushing was elected Supreme Inspector in June 1923.
The first Assembly in Texas was Sherman No. 1, Instituted July 10, 1922. Their sponsor was indivisible Friend Commandery No. 13. Yoakum Assembly No. 2 was the second Assembly. The San Antonio Assembly No. 3 Charter is signed by William P. Freeman, Supreme Worthy Advisor, and W. Mark Sexson, Supreme Recorder of Supreme Assembly, Mother Assembly of the World. Its seat of authority is in McAlester, Oklahoma, Charter instituting date of May 13, 1922 and constituting date of June 2, 1923.
During the next years many Assemblies were instituted and sponsored by Masonic bodies, Eastern Star chapters and groups of Masons and Eastern Star members. Many of these early Assemblies are active today and many other Assemblies have been instituted.
Grand Assembly was organized August 20, 21, 22 in 1924 in San Antonio and in 1925 the Grand Assembly was held in Houston. History was in the making for Rainbow in Texas.
In El Paso at the 1941 Grand Assembly session, Mrs. Cushing was ill and Mr. Victor C. Whitfield was appointed Chairman of the Grand Executive Committee. Mrs. Cushing passed away September 5, 1941. Dallas had been selected as the site for the 1942 Session and Mrs. Roberta Kendall, Mother Advisor of Oak Cliff No. 67 and Mr. Whitfield went to McAlester to talk with Rev. Sexson regarding the Session. Rev. Sexson declared Mr. Whitfield as the General Chairman and his Deputy. At the Session, Mr. Whitfield was made Chairman of the Grand Executive Committee. He was also Chairman of the Grand Cross of Color until his passing away February 4, 1973.
Mrs. Martha Marie Whitfield was appointed Special Deputy at the 1941 Session. She was appointed Supreme Deputy in 1942, promoted to Supreme Inspector in 1950 and later was elected as Supreme Faith in 1972. She then advanced to the office of Supreme Worthy Associate Advisor until her passing away on April 7, 1989.
Thousands of girls have been initiated into the Order in Texas with Masons and Eastern Star members being their friends and serving on Advisory Boards. Each Assembly has charitable, financial and social activities that they may carry on the beautiful Ritualistic work in the manner provided by the Founder. The majority of the Assemblies meet in Masonic Halls, but, regardless of the meeting place, Rainbow has the pleasures that girls should have in their Order.
Through financial projects, donations have been given to the Masonic Home for the Aged. The first contribution was made for the Chapel at the Masonic School, as well as furnishing the Chapel at the Eastern Star Home, air conditioners, various pieces of furniture and wheel chairs. When Mrs. Mildred Haney Harris was Most Worthy Grand Matron, a portrait of her was given to the Home.
Two funds have been kept active through the years by Assemblies and individuals. The W. Mark Sexson Loan Fund to be used by Rainbow Girls to further their education and the Let’s Be Thankful Fund. This Fund is used to help through contributions for rent, food, clothing, medicine, hospital expenses, emergency travel and every need for members and friends.
We have one other scholarship funds to help girls further their education. The Martha Marie and Victor C. Whitfield Scholarship Fund which has helped many girls.
In 1950 at the Session in Mineral Wells, a life size portrait of Rev. Sexson was unveiled and presented to him during the meeting that he attended. The artist was Mr. Dimitri Vail, and to complete the portrait, Mr. and Mrs. Vail gave the beautiful gold leaf frame. The portrait hangs over Reverend Sexson’s desk in the library at the International Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Rainbow Girls, in becoming Majority Girls, have taken their place in church, community and civic affairs, many of them serving on Advisory Boards and many of the Past Grand Worthy Advisors have served as Mother Advisors.
Grand Assembly is an annual event looked forward to from the closing of Installation until the following year as is Supreme Assembly every two years. Our attendance at Grand and Supreme Assembly is excellent and every adult glows with pride at the interest and respect shown by the girls.
These Sessions are of utmost importance, but local Assembly meetings are the ones planned and conducted by the girls with their Advisory Board, being their friends and advisors.
1974 marked our Fiftieth Anniversary and it was fitting and proper that San Antonio was again our host. Mrs. Rosalie Kohler Bell, P. G. W. A. presented a beautiful program to honor our fiftieth year.
Texas was pleased and honored to have been chosen to host the Thirty-fourth Biennial Supreme Assembly “Follow the Spirit” Session in Fort Worth, Texas in 1992. We were honored with the presence of many distinguished guests.
Mrs. Pearl Mills was appointed Supreme Deputy in 1982 by Mrs. Agnes McLeod, then appointed to Supreme Inspector in 1990 by Mrs. Edna McLaurin. Later she was appointed Supreme Chaplain in 1992 by Mrs. Margaret Kofed and then appointed Supreme Drill Leader in 1996 by Mrs. Linda Freimann. In 1998 she was appointed as Supreme Outer Observer. Mr. Hubert D. Mills is Chairman Emeritus of the Grand Executive Committee.
Mrs. Marlene Dibrell was selected by Supreme Assembly as Supreme Deputy in mid-1999 and was installed on June 16 at Grand Assembly session in Corpus Christi. Mrs. Mary Muhs, Supreme Worthy Advisor and Mr. Joe Blair, Supreme Parliamentarian, were present at the entire Texas Grand Assembly session and Mrs. Muhs installed Mrs. Dibrell, assisted by Mr. Blair. Mrs. Dibrell's husband, Mr. David B. Dibrell, is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
Mrs. Dibrell was elected a member of the House of Gold and installed as Supreme Inspector in Texas at the 2008 Supreme Assembly Session in Chicago.
On March 19, 2011, during the visit of Texas Grand Assembly to the Supreme Temple, Mrs. Dibrell announced that Mrs. JoAnn Weaver would succeed her as the Supreme Officer of Texas. At the close of the 2011 Grand Assembly session, Mrs. Weaver was installed by Mrs. Dibrell as Supreme Deputy in Texas, assisted by Mrs. Joanie Jacka, Supreme Faith and Supreme Inspector in Nevada.